On January 1, 2016, the State of Illinois replaced the terms “custody” and “visitation” with “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time,” respectively.
- Parental Responsibilities. The term “custody” is now broken down into its simplest form. A court will award one or both parents the decision-making authority in regards to the child’s education, health, religion, and extracurricular activities. This means one parent may not be awarded power to make a decision about all of a child’s upbringing.
- Parenting Time. Formerly known as visitation, parenting time is the time a parent spends with his or her child. Parents may mutually agree to a parenting time schedule. However, if no agreement can be reached, the court will allocate parenting time by considering the best interests of the child. It is presumed that both parents are fit unless evidence exists that a parent would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.
How Much Parenting Time & Parental Responsibility Will I Be Awarded?
If the child’s parents are in agreement about allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, a parenting plan may be drafted by your attorney in accordance with the parties wishes. A knowledgeable attorney will ensure that all potential issues or conflicts are addressed to avoid any future confusion. Any mistakes can be quite costly to fix in the future
If, however, the parents cannot reach an agreement, then the court will determine these issues based upon the bests interests of the child(ren). The factors considered include:
- The wishes of the child, depending on his or her maturity;
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
- The physical and mental health of all parties;
- The cooperative abilities of the parents;
- The participation of each parent in past significant decision-making;
- The wishes of the parents;
- The child’s needs;
- Issues related to transportation of the child between the parents’ homes, such as distance and cost of transportation;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent;
- The physical violence or threat of physical by the child’s parent; and
- Any other relevant factors, as determined by the court.
Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help
The attorneys at Taege Law Offices understand the emotional nature of matters involving children and can work with you to help you secure an outcome that is ideal for you and your children. To schedule a free consultation with our offices, call us today at (312) 228-5800.