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Parental Responsibilities & Parenting Time

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Parental Responsibilities & Parenting Time

One of the main concerns when someone begins a divorce or parentage proceeding is how it will affect the children. The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, which used to be known as legal custody and visitation, can be one of the most complex and emotionally difficult parts of the process. In essence, Illinois law breaks down parental responsibilities into two parts: the allocation of decision making and parenting time.  

Parental Responsibilities address who will make significant decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as major medical, educational, and religious decisions. The court may decide that both parents shall equally share in making significant decisions regarding the child, or they can allocate certain decisions to each parent. 

Parenting time determines the time during which each parent is responsible for the care of the child, including holidays. When determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, the court will consider the “best interests of the child”. Some of the factors include, but are not limited to: 

  1. The wishes of the parents; 
  2. The wishes of the child; 
  3. The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community; 
  4. The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate with one another; 
  5. The willingness of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent; 
  6. The mental and physical health of the parties;
  7. The needs of the child; and
  8. The involvement of each parent in the caretaking responsibilities.  

Once a final Judgment on the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities is entered, there may be limitations on modifying major aspects within the two years following the entry, so it is important to be sure you seek the advice of an attorney prior to it being entered. Call SLG Family Law for a free consultation with one of their experienced child custody attorneys.   

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