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IL Custody Law Changes 2016

Illinois Custody Law Changes 2016:  Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

 PER 750 ILCS 600

The purpose of this blog is to take a step by step approach and analysis of IL custody law changes which will become effective January 1, 2016. These changes will affect all custody filings in Illinois, including Chicago, Palatine and Arlington Heights and surrounding areas.

The first section to be analyzed is 750 ILCS 5/602.2

The amended custody act, which is now titled “Allocation of Parental Responsibilities”, allows for fairly significant changes in the custody statute.

Under the amended custody statute, a proceeding for allocation of parental responsibilities with respect to a child begins in the court by simply filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; a Petition to Legal Separation, or the Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.  Thus, by simply filing a divorce proceeding, the new act with all of its mandatory compliance time frames is triggered. This is a significant departure from the old custody statute.

In addition, the filing of a petition for the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in the county in which the child resides, will also trigger the new custody statute.  The new custody statute also allows for a person other than a parent to file a petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, but only if he or she is not in the physical custody of one of his or her parents.  This provision opens the door to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and presumably anyone else who has some interest in the minor child.  This is also a significant departure from the previous custody statute.  This section would give legal standing to a variety of people who could presumably make a claim for custody of a minor child.

In our next blog covering IL custody law changes 2016, we will look at grandparents’ and stepparents’ rights to custody and focus primarily on those issues.


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