Legal Information: Illinois


September 19, 2017

What is the difference between "allocation of parental responsibilities" and "parenting time"?

In 2016, there was a change in Illinois law regarding the use of the words custody and visitation.  The term "allocation of parental responsibilities" or "significant decision-making responsibility" has replaced "custody" and the term "parenting time" has replaced "visitation."  

Illinois law defines parenting time as the time during which a parent is taking care of the child and has "non-significant decision-making responsibilities" for the child while the child is in his/her care.*   When explaining allocation of parental responsibilities, the law refers to which parent will have significant decision-making responsibility, which addresses which parent makes important decisions for the child in the areas of education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and religion.** 

* 750 ILCS 5/801
** See 750 ILCS 5/602.5(b)