There are many negative connotations people have about certain legal terms, especially when it comes to family law issues. Divorce, child custody and asset division are all words and phrases that can make people feel stressed, combative and scared. Even though these are certainly difficult and emotional matters to resolve, they don’t have to as bad or bitter as people expect.
In an effort to modernize and clarify family legal terms, Illinois laws have been passed and put into effect to help change the way people think and talk about certain areas. These changes will primarily affect divorcing or unmarried parents.
Instead of battling for custody and fighting over visitation rights, parents in Illinois will now need to establish decision-making rights and parenting time schedules. These are two changes made to the laws that are intended to reflect more modern arrangements and the shifts toward shared parenting.
Rather than assigning one parent custody, courts will now assign decision-making permissions. Instead of parents be granted visitation with their child, they will receive parenting time.
Changing the way we talk about these complex matters could help people feel less fearful and intimidated when it comes time to resolve them. After all, it sounds more approachable to discuss parenting time in the context of what is in the best interests of a child versus which parent should have custody.
These changes also fit in with the collaborative environment that many people pursue when it comes to divorce. Rather than battle each other in court, divorcing spouses and parents across Illinois are pursuing collaborative solutions to work out these issues themselves and outside of court.
What do you think? Do you think that updating the language we use in these family legal matters will make it a little easier for parents to resolve these issues in a more peaceful way?