Child Custody Lawyers Deerfield

Child Custody Lawyers Deerfield

Deerfield Child Custody Attorney

If you’re a mother filing for divorce in ­­­­Deerfield, IL, child custody issues are a top concern. You may have questions regarding where children will live, how much time each parent will enjoy with them, and who is responsible for their upbringing. The stress of a divorce is compounded when you fear for your rights as a parent.

At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, our lawyers understand your situation. We’ve represented many mothers in divorce cases, enforcing their rights and helping them maintain strong relationships with their children.

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Illinois Law: Parental Responsibilities

The traditional notions of child custody and visitation have changed under Illinois divorce law, having been replaced in 2016 by the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” As it relates to their child’s upbringing, this concept breaks down the roles of parents into two categories:

  1. Significant Decision-Making: This aspect of parental responsibility refers to how parents decide the major issues of long-term importance in the life of a child. The law allows parents to share equally in decision-making, but it also provides that certain types of decisions may be allocated to one parent. There are four areas that are considered significant in raising the child: Education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities.
  2. Parenting Time: The actual period of time that a parent spends with the child, during which the parent is responsible for care, falls under parenting time. A parent exercising parenting time is also accountable for making decisions of a non-significant nature.

The Parenting Plan

Illinois law requires parents to file with the court a proposed Parenting Plan that covers both significant decision-making and parenting time. In a divorce matter, the filing deadline is 120 days after the petitioner spouse serves papers upon the respondent. Parents may jointly prepare and file an agreed-upon Parenting Plan, or they may do so individually.

If they cannot agree on an arrangement for significant decision-making and parenting time, a judge will make the decision.

Best Interests of the Child

A court determines the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time according to the child’s best interests. Some of the factors a judge considers include:

  • Parents’ wishes;
  • Wishes of the child, where appropriate;
  • Child’s needs;
  • Mental and physical health of the parents;
  • Willingness of the parents to cooperate in parenting issues;
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a close relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • Distance between the respective parents’ residences; and,
  • Any history or threat of physical violence or abuse.

Note that a judge can also look to additional factors if they can help determine the child’s best interests.

Contact a Deerfield Family Law Attorney

For more information on parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois, please contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group. Our lawyers advocate on behalf of mothers in Deerfield, IL and throughout the Chicago area. We can answer your questions and schedule a consultation to help you understand your options.

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