Does being primary residential parent in Illinois mean anything? Why do they assign one? Is it solely for school purposes?
That language was used prior to January 1, 2016 in joint custody cases to designate where the child(ren) resided . The use of "custody" and "joint custody" have been abolished as of Jsnuary 1, 2016. The parties can now designate a parent for purposes of attending school. Allocation of parenting time is now the proper term to use.
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Primary residential parent is the parent that the child/ren regularly reside with. The other parent has visitation time with the child. The primary residential parent is usually the parent that receives child support as well. Sometimes people "split" primary residential custody - but not often. Keep in mind, the law recently changed (as of January 2016). The term "primary residential parent" is essentially no longer in use (only on a limited basis where statutes require a designated parent). It is unclear how parenting agreements that already have a primary residential parent named will be affected by the new law.
In short, the primary residential parent will almost certainly receive child support from the non-primary residential parent. As Peggy stated, the primary residential parent used to be what we called the primary custodial parent.
The phrase is used as a colloquialism to summarize the comparative parenting time of the parents and improperly used to connote the parent with the perceived higher standing (and therefore who should pay or receive child support). It is not, and was not, a status established in the law, but became a shorthand term used in settlements and by some courts. The law only required the residence of the child be identified, as the establishment of a single residence of the child is necessary for public school enrollment and other governmental programs. In an apparent effort to correct this misuse of the phrase, the law was modified effective 2016 to provide the phrasing of allocated parenting time and allowing for the defining which parent will be the custodian for governmental programs such as public school enrollment regardless of the actual parenting time. Semantics aside, the court orders and facts of the parenting responsiblities and time, not the labels, control the legal roles and statuses of the parents.
Now under the new statute the judgment has to designate one parent's address for school registration purposes.
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