Custody, Visitation & Parental Responsibilities

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Custody, Visitation & Parental Responsibilities

Custody, Visitation & Parental Responsibilities Attorneys in Chicago

When mothers in the Chicago area file for divorce, child custody issues are a top concern. Questions we often hear are who will the child live with after the divorce is finalized? What factors will the court take into consideration when determining who is responsible for the child’s well-being and cultural upbringing? Do Chicago judges favor situations in which both parents remain equally involved in raising the child?

These are all important questions, and below, we outline how the law views child-related issues within a divorce. As always, our team of family law attorneys with years of experience focusing and advocating for mothers’ rights can speak with you when you are ready and are available today to support you in this process.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

What was once called “child custody” and “visitation” have changed in divorce law and are now referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Parental responsibilities cover the question of who will make substantial decisions about a child’s upbringing and are legally defined as “both parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to a child.” Parenting time determines the actual time during which a parent is responsible for the care of a child and any non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to that child.

Shared Parental Responsibilities, Parenting Time, and the Development of a Parenting Plan

Another shift in divorce law language is that the term custody is now referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities, which governs the sharing of significant decision-making. A court may decide that parents will share equally in making significant decisions about the child’s well-being, or they can also allocate certain significant decisions, such as religious upbringing, to only one of the parents.

Further, what we used to call a visitation schedule is now discussed in terms of parenting time.

A “parenting plan” is signed off on by the court to allocate parental responsibilities and parenting time. This parenting plan is the document that specifically outlines who holds significant decision-making responsibilities and will allocate parenting time for each parent.

Best Interests of the Child

When it comes to determining the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, the court will look at what is in the child’s best interests. Some of the factors the court will consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Wishes of the parents
  • Wishes of the child
  • Child’s needs
  • Mental and physical health of the parties
  • Willingness of parents to cooperate with one another
  • Willingness of a parent to encourage a close relationship between the other parent and the child
  • Distance between the parents’ residence
  • Physical violence or abuse
The court can also take into account additional factors that help to determine what is in the child’s best interests.

Contact A Chicago Family Law Attorney

If you have questions about parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois, we can help. We advocate for mothers throughout the Chicago area, and we can discuss your options with you today. Contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group to learn more.

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