Lake Forest Child Custody Attorney

Lake Forest Child Custody Attorney

Lake Forest Child Custody Attorney

Your children are a top concern if you’re a mother filing for divorce in Lake Forest, IL. There’s a lot at stake as you wonder where they’ll live, how you’ll be involved with their upbringing, and the time you’ll be able to enjoy together. These and other questions will weigh heavy on your mind as you work through the stress of the divorce process.

The attorneys at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group are committed to reducing your anxiety and helping you look forward to a brighter future. Our legal team has advocated on behalf of many mothers in your shoes, and we’re by your side to tackle tough issues involved with child custody and visitation.

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Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

The traditional concepts of child custody and visitation changed in 2016 when lawmakers overhauled certain provisions of Illinois divorce law. Today, parents must address an “allocation of parental responsibilities” with regards to raising their child, which breaks down their obligations into two primary areas:

  1. Significant Decision-Making: In this category of parental responsibility, the law includes provisions on how parents determine matters of long-term importance in the child’s life. Parent may equally share decision making responsibilities, but the statute also allows for one parent to have primary authority with certain issues. There are four specific areas that are designated as significant in bringing up the child: Education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities.
  2. Parenting Time: Allocating parental responsibilities also includes the arrangement for parenting time, during which the parent is responsible for care. During his or her allotted time, the parent is responsible for making decisions regarding non-significant areas of the child’s life.

The Parenting Plan

Illinois law requires parents to file a proposed Parenting Plan within 120 days after the divorce petitioner serves papers upon the respondent spouse. This document must address both significant decision-making and parenting time arrangements for their child. Parents may jointly prepare an agreed-upon Parenting Plan, or they may file separately with the court.

If parents are unable to agree on the essential areas of significant decision-making and parenting time within the Parenting Plan, a court will make the decision.

Illinois’ Best Interests Standard

When determining the allocation of parental decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, a court will apply the best interests of the child standard. A judge will consider various factors, such as:

  • Each parent’s wishes;
  • Wishes of the child’s wishes, where applicable;
  • Individual needs of the child;
  • Parents’ mental and physical well-being;
  • Willingness of the parents to work together in parenting responsibilities;
  • Each parent’s willingness to promote a close relationship between the child and other parent;
  • Distance between the parents’ residences;
  • History or threat of physical violence or abuse; and,
  • Additional factors to determine the best interests of the child.

For more information on Illinois law regarding allocation of parental responsibilities, please contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group. Our legal team is committed to providing legal assistance to mothers in Lake Forest, IL and throughout the Chicago suburbs. We can answer your questions or schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

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