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    • Lake Forest Office 100 Saunders Rd., Suite 150 Lake Forest, IL 60045
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In Parenting Plans, Who Has Authority to Make Decisions for Your Child?

A teen boy working virtually on laptop with his mother beside him, to develop a child custody agreement consult with Chicago Parenting Plan Attorney.

Parents are required to make important decisions on their child’s behalf that could impact them for years into the future. Reaching agreements on these matters can be challenging in general, but it is particularly so for parents who are divorced or otherwise living apart. As part of your parenting plan, the court will issue an order detailing whether one or both parties have legal authority in decision making.  

Legal Custody: An Important Part of Your Parenting Plan

Illinois parenting plans deal with both physical and legal custody of children. Physical custody refers to the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home while legal custody grants the authority to make important decisions on their behalf. This includes: 

  • Medical care: This will determine who has access to medical records and input on important matters pertaining to the child’s health. 
  • Education: This pertains to decisions regarding the type of education, such as public or private school, and authority in receiving school communications and withdrawing them from classes. 
  • Religious upbringing: Deciding upon religious affiliation, whether the child will attend church services, and the type of religious training they need is often one of the most hotly debated topics among parents. 
  • Special needs: Legal authority is important in making decisions regarding tutors, therapy, experimental treatments, discipline, and any other special needs the child has. 

Working With the Other Parent in Making Decisions Pertaining to Your Child 

In making a determination regarding who has legal authority in making decisions on the child’s behalf, the judge in your case will consider many of the same factors that were relevant in awarding parenting time. This includes each parent’s current and prior relationship with the child, their ability to put the child’s best interests first, and their ability to cooperate with the other parent. 

If joint legal custody is granted in your case, Help Guide offers these tips to avoid disputes: 

  • Put any personal grudges you have against the other parent aside;
  • Make an effort to communicate in a calm, respectful manner;
  • Be clear on the goals you have for your child;
  • Be willing to compromise on occasion;
  • Avoid discussing conflicts in front of your child. 

In cases where there are valid reasons for not wanting the other parent to share legal authority in making decisions regarding your child, we can petition the court to have you awarded sole legal custody. 

Get Our Chicago Parenting Plan Attorneys on Your Side

 At the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we protect your rights and your child’s best interest in matters pertaining to physical and legal custody. Call or contact our Chicago parenting plan attorneys and request a consultation to discuss your case today. 

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.


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Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Lake Forest Office
Lisle Office
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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