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Custody and Visitation

Custody and Visitation are actually outdated terms.  Today the term "custody" has been replaced by the phrase "Allocation of Parental Responsibilities".  When there are minor children in a case the Court will enter a "Judgment Allocating Parental Responsibilities" which can either be entered by the agreement of the parties or can be entered after a hearing and the judge making the determination.

In an Allocation Judgment, the issue of decision making (parental responsibilities) can be granted to either party ("sole allocation") or to both parties ("joint allocation").  The areas for the allocation judgment are 1) Health decisions; 2) Educational decision; 3) Religious decisions; and 4) Extra-curricular activities decisions.  The Allocation for each of the 4 areas can be joint or for one parent and they can be different for each of the 4 areas.

The term "visitation" has been replaced by the term "parenting time".  Along with an Allocation Judgment, the Court will enter a "Parenting Plan" which sets out the "parenting time" each parent has with the minor children.  Once again, the parties can agree to the parenting plan or they can decide to have a hearing and let the judge make that decision. 

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