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Who Determines the Parenting Time Schedule?
27 Sep, 2022
Child Custody

Who Determines the Parenting Time Schedule?

If you and your children’s other parent are facing a divorce or are no longer a couple, your parenting time schedule is a primary concern. When your parental rights are at issue, having the legal guidance of an experienced Illinois parenting time attorney on your side is critical. 

Negotiating Terms between Yourselves

You and your ex can negotiate a parenting time schedule between yourselves that addresses your needs and that works for you and your children, and in this situation, the court is very likely to incorporate your terms into your parenting time order. While the court is always motivated by the best interests of the children when the matter at hand involves them, an agreement between parents is generally considered to uphold the involved children’s best interests. 

Coming to a mutual agreement does not mean that you and your soon-to-be-ex have to be in complete agreement, to begin with – your respective attorneys will provide you with skilled guidance, and there is also the option of mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  

Looking to the Court

If you and your children’s other parent are too far apart on the matter of your parenting time schedule, you’ll need to look to the court for orders. As mentioned, the court bases such decisions on the best interests of the children, and one of its primary guidelines is that children are better off when they are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents (if there is no compelling reason for determining otherwise). Some of the other important factors that guide the court’s determinations related to parenting time include:

  • Each parent’s preference
  • Each parent’s ability and commitment to supporting the other parent’s ongoing relationship with the children
  • Each parent’s ability and commitment to communicating openly and cooperating fully with the other regarding parenting concerns
  • The degree to which each parent has been involved in parenting and caring for the children to date
  • Each child’s preference (if he or she has reached an age and a level of maturity to weigh in)
  • The mental and physical health of both parents and each child
  • How well the children have acclimated to their current living situation, including their home, school, and community
  • Any special healthcare, educational, physical, and/or emotional needs any of the children have
  • The distance that the parents live from one another
  • If domestic violence or child abuse or neglect plays a role
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant to the parenting time case

Look to an Experienced Illinois Parenting Time Attorney for the Help You Need

If you are facing a divorce or otherwise need to establish a parenting time schedule, contact the distinguished Illinois parenting time attorneys at SLG Family Law. We take great pride in helping clients like you resolve their parenting time cases favorably. We are on your side and here to help, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information today. 

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