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Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (Custody)

Please note that the legal information presented on this page is written for those living in the state of Illinois.

What Does it Mean?

The allocation of parental responsibilities, often referred to as "child custody", is the process of awarding childcare responsibilities to different caretakers.

How Does it Work?

A custody arrangement becomes legally-binding through a parenting plan once approved by a judge in court.

Oftentimes, only one caretaker is given primary custody of a child. The caretaker with primary custody is called the custodial parent. The legal parent that is not given primary custody is the child's non-custodial parent

Alternatively, two parents can be given joint-custody of a child.

Things You Should Know

  • One does NOT have to be paying child support to get custody of a child
  • A parenting plan can be changed (modified), but only within TWO (2) YEARS of the date it was ordered
  • A parent can be punished (enforcement) for failing to follow a custody arrangement
  • One does not necessarily have to be a child's legal parent to get custody of the child. In some cases, a child's grandparent, step-parent, or even someone who is not biologically related to the child can get custody

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