A custody order, we now refer to as allocation judgment. That document is going to talk about the parenting schedule that the parents are going to follow. Where is the child or the children going to be on any given day? How are we going to divide up the holidays, whether they be school holidays, legal holidays, or religious holidays? How are we going to make those important decisions that we talked about a few minutes ago in those four different categories? What happens in the event that the parents aren’t able to make a joint decision, they’re unable to reach an accord as to what should happen; how are we going to make that determination? The goal of the allocation judgment is to give the parents a road map as to how to make these decisions, what to do in the event they’re unable to make the decisions, and to give some structure to the upbringing of the child or the children. If you have such a document from another state, that document is going to have to be enrolled in Illinois for it to be enforceable here; that requires instituting a court proceeding. The judgment from the other state is actually recorded in Illinois when the case file is opened. The parent who is not seeking such enrollment gets served with actual process and has an opportunity to file an appearance with the court, and once all of those steps are undertaken and the Illinois court adopts the foreign judgment, then it is enforceable here as though it had been rendered originally in Illinois.
Chuck Roberts is family lawyer at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC, one of the largest law firms in DuPage County, Illinois.