Why is the word “custody” no longer used in Illinois?

By Arin Fife
March 14, 2017
Why is the word “custody” no longer used in Illinois?

Some major changes have been made to Illinois family law in 2016. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has gone through a major rewrite. With the new laws that have come into effect, one of the major changes is that the terms “visitation” and “custody” will no longer be used. Instead, these matters will be referred to as “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time”.

One of the reasons for these changes was simply to establish a more appropriate terminology; saying that one parent won custody of the children and the other parent may now visit, it's kind of a harsh way of referring to these life-altering events. The courts wish to lessen the notion of establishing winners and losers, so it was thought that the assignment of parental responsibilities was a more appropriate term and it's just a better way of resolving issues between parents when relating to the care of their children.


Arin Fife is a family lawyer at Boyle Feinberg, P.C. in Illinois. To learn more about the firm, visit www.bffamlaw.com. Visit their firm profile here.

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March 14, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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