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Allocation judgment: means a judgment allocating parental responsibilities. Similar to former Custody provision except that under the old statute custody and visitation were separate sections and terms. In the new statute, Allocation of parental responsibilities encompasses both significant decision making (custody) and parenting time (visitation).

Caretaking functions: tasks that involve interaction with a child or that direct, arrange, and supervise the interaction with and care of a child provided by others, or for obtaining the resources allowing for the provision of these functions. The term includes, but is not limited to, the following: (1) satisfying a child’s nutritional needs; managing a child’s bedtime and wake-up routines; caring for a child when the child is sick or injured; being attentive to a child’s personal hygiene needs, including washing, grooming, and dressing; playing with a child and ensuring the child attends scheduled extracurricular activities; protecting a child’s physical safety; and providing transportation for a child; (2) directing a child’s various developmental needs, including the acquisition of motor and language skills, toilet training, self-confidence, and maturation; (3) providing discipline, giving instruction in manners, assigning and supervising chores, and performing other tasks that attend to a child’s needs for behavioral control and self-restraint; (4) ensuring the child attends school, including remedial and special services appropriate to the child’s needs and interests, communicating with teachers and counselors, and supervising homework; (5) helping a child develop and maintain appropriate interpersonal relationships with peers, siblings, and other family members; (6) ensuring the child attends medical appointments and is available for medical follow-up and meeting the medical needs of the child in the home; (7) providing moral and ethical guidance for a child; And (8) arranging alternative care for a child by a family member, babysitter, or other child care provider or facility, including investigating such alternatives, communicating with providers, and supervising such care.

Child Support: the money one parent pays the other to be applied toward the living expenses of their children.

Custody: an outdated term that is the equivalent of significant decision-making under the new statute, which is effective January 1, 2016. Custody is often confused with visitation. Prior to the new statute, custody meant deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child, whereas visitation referred to the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child. However, visitation is also an outdated term. Under the new statute, visitation is replaced with parenting time. The purpose of replacing the terms custody and visitation with significant decision-making and parenting time is to eliminate this confusion so that the parents are better able to communicate their concerns and wishes to their attorneys, which will hopefully result in more agreeable orders that result from a proper meeting of the minds.

Dissolution of Marriage: In Illinois, dissolution of marriage is the legal term for divorce. It is the process by which a couple can end their marriage permanently.

Divorce: the process by which a couple can end their marriage permanently. The legal term for divorce in Illinois is dissolution of marriage.

Equitable Distribution: courts will divide property fairly, but not always equally, based on a combination of factors the court deems appropriate. Illinois is an equitable distribution state.

Meeting of the Minds: a mutual agreement where there is a common understanding in the formation of a contract.

Parental responsibilities: means both parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to a child. This new term did not exist in the previous statute as it combines both decision making (custody) and parenting time (visitation) into one concept.

Parenting time: the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child. Parenting time is the equivalent of visitation under the old statute.

Parenting plan: means a written agreement that allocates significant decision-making responsibilities, parenting time, or both. This is similar to Custody Agreement/Order (sole or joint) under the old statute.

Preponderance of the Evidence: more than 50% of the evidence points to something, meaning that the court determines that, more likely than not, something occurred or existed.

Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement between future spouses entered into prior to the marriage. It is a means of pre-determining the financial rights and responsibilities of the future spouses in the unfortunate incident of a divorce.

Significant decision-making: means deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child. This term replaces the term custody.

Visitation: outdated term that is the equivalent of parenting time under the new statute. Visitation is the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child.

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