Chicago Parenting Time Lawyers

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Chicago Parenting Time Lawyers

One of the paramount issues in any divorce that involves shared children is the parenting time schedule. Your children’s best interests and continued well-being and happiness are naturally important to both you and your divorcing spouse, but coming to a consensus related to how best to divide your time with your children can be exceedingly difficult – as well as emotionally fraught. If you have an issue related to parenting time, it’s in you and your children’s best interests to seek the professional legal guidance of a dedicated Chicago parenting time lawyer

Parental Responsibility in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, child custody is now known as parental responsibility, and it is divided into both legal and physical custody issues. Legal custody means having the parental right and responsibility to make critical decisions on behalf of your children, including:

  • Where your children attend school
  • The kind of religious instruction (if any) your children receive
  • The treatment your children receive from healthcare professionals
  • The extracurriculars that your children participate in

Both parents often share legal custody (joint legal custody), but this isn’t always the case. Physical – or residential – custody refers to whom the children reside with. Physical custody can also be either sole or joint. Sole custody refers to when the children live primarily with one parent and have a visitation schedule with the other, while joint custody means that the children live with both parents on – at least – a somewhat equal basis.

Parenting Time Issues

The form that your parental responsibility takes will guide your parenting time schedule, and there is a wide range of variables that should be addressed within, including:

  • Special Circumstances – Sometimes, things come up that no one anticipated, and you’ll need a mechanism in place to deal with these situations. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example. While none of us could have anticipated the virus’s far-reaching effects, it does highlight the importance of having a solid parenting plan that can nimbly adapt to unexpected events.
  • School Year Scheduling – Your parenting time should address the ins and outs of your children’s school year, and in light of the pandemic and the way it has shaken our plans for going back to school, this has never been more important. Your parenting plan should include terms for every major event in your children’s school schedules – including holidays, breaks, and vacations – with some basic built-in contingencies for dealing with the unexpected.

Hammering out a parenting plan that addresses every issue that could possibly come your way is obviously impossible, but assessing each parent’s availability, accommodating for the flexibility of each of your schedules, and determining who can help out in a pinch can go a long way toward ensuring that your parenting time plan addresses your family’s unique needs.

Work Closely with a Chicago Parenting Time Lawyer

Determining parenting time is critical for every divorced parent, and the dedicated Chicago parenting time lawyers at WARD FAMILY LAW have the experience, fortitude, and resources to help you obtain a manageable parenting time plan that specifically addresses you and your children’s needs, circumstances, and best interests. We care about you and your case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.



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