Vernon Hills Child Custody Lawyers

Vernon Hills Child Custody Lawyers

Vernon Hills Child Custody Attorney

When you’re a mother filing for divorce in Vernon Hills, IL, you’re likely overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your family’s future. You want to know what your role will be in raising the children, where they’ll live, and how you’ll make important decisions regarding their lives.

Our attorneys at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group understand how child custody and visitation issues add to the stress of a divorce. We have years of experience representing mothers in your situation, and we’re committed to protecting your rights as a parent.

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Allocating Parental Responsibilities

A 2016 Illinois divorce law made some major changes to what many people commonly refer to as child custody and visitation. Now, parents must address the “allocation of parental responsibilities” regarding the raising of their child, which breaks down their roles into two categories:

  1. Significant Decision-Making: This area of allocating parental responsibility involves how parents will make decisions on primary matters of long-term importance in a child’s life. The statute allows parents to have equal say in decision-making, but it’s also possible for one parent to take the lead on certain types of decisions. Four areas are considered significant in a child’s upbringing: Education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities.
  2. Parenting Time: This aspect of parental responsibilities deals with the actual time that a parent spends with the child, during which the parent must provide appropriate care. When exercising his or her parenting time, the parent is also responsible for making non-significant decisions.

The Parenting Plan

Under Illinois law, parents are required to file with the court a proposed Parenting Plan that addresses the areas of significant decision-making and parenting time. The deadline to file is 120 days after the parent who files for divorce serves papers upon the other. Parents may cooperate to prepare an agreed Parenting Plan, or they may file individually.

Where parents do not agree on an arrangement, a judge will render a decision regarding significant decision-making and parenting time.

Illinois’ Best Interests Standard

A court allocates significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time based upon the child’s best interests. The judge will consider such factors as:

  • Parents’ wishes;
  • Wishes of the child, if appropriate;
  • Needs of the child;
  • Each parent’s state of mental and physical health;
  • How willing the parents are to cooperate in parenting responsibilities;
  • Willingness of each parent to encourage a close bond between the other parent and the child;
  • Distance between the respective parents’ homes; and
  • Whether there exists a history or threat of physical violence or abuse.

In addition, a court can consider other factors where appropriate to help determine the child’s best interests.

A Vernon Hills Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you have questions about allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law, please contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group. Our lawyers represent the interests of mothers in Vernon Hills, IL and throughout the Chicago suburbs. We’re happy to answer your questions or schedule a consultation to review your circumstances.

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