In 2016, the Illinois Legislature made a number of significant changes to the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. One of these changes involved eliminating the term “child custody” from family law courts. This issue is now described in terms of an allocation of parental responsibilities, which can be further broken down into the allocation of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities between a child’s parents. So, while many divorcing parents may still search the internet for a “child custody lawyer near me,” it’s important to understand that the courts will not use this term during your case.
Generally, courts presume it is in the best interest of a child to have a relationship with both parents and as a result, parenting time and decision-making responsibilities are often divided between both parents. However, this is not always true, such as in cases involving domestic abuse, and a court may need to come up with an acceptable schedule if the parents cannot agree on these issues between themselves.
Resolving these types of legal matters can be complicated and emotionally taxing, so if you and your child’s other parent have decided to separate or file for divorce, it is important to contact an experienced allocation of parental responsibilities lawyer who can ensure that your child’s interests are protected.
Parenting time refers to the period of time during which each parent is responsible for a child’s caretaking functions. This concept replaces the previous terms of “physical custody” and “visitation.” It is common for one parent to have more parenting time than the other, although many variations are possible.
Parenting time is determined through a parenting plan. Many parents are able to create their own parenting plan through negotiation in an out-of-court setting. In these cases, judges need only review and approve the plan for it to be considered legally binding. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parents, the court will step in and allocate parenting time based on what the judge determines is in the child’s best interests.
Unlike many states, Illinois does not have a standard parenting time schedule in place. Instead, judges work with parents to design plans that address the specific needs of each family by assessing a number of factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. These factors include:
It is possible for parents to create their own parenting time schedule, although before it can be implemented, it must be approved by the court and deemed to be in the child’s best interests.
While a “child custody lawyer near me” might be a thing of the past for Illinois parents, there are still numerous reasons to work with an experienced family law attorney when negotiating or modifying an allocation of parental responsibilities. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced allocation judgment lawyer in your area, please contact WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC by submitting one of our brief online contact forms today.
Jennifer is a strategic thinker with a remarkable ability to anticipate and address potential challenges. Her attention to detail and thorough preparation were evident in every aspect of my paternity case. This meticulous approach translated into a successful resolution of establishing the father-child relationship and financial responsibility that comes with that. I felt well-represented both inside and outside the zoom courtroom.
I was referred to the firm for their expertise in handling complex business divisions during divorce proceedings. As someone entangled in a high-stakes divorce involving substantial business assets, I can attest to their unparalleled skill, strategic acumen, and unwavering commitment to securing the best possible outcome for their clients. From the business valuation to the creative distribution, thank you.
If you own a business or an interest in a business or stock options (or anything of real value related to a business) then you need to make sure that your divorce attorney knows what they’re doing. My first attorney had no idea and so I had to start over finding the right team that had extensive family law and divorce experience that I needed in Chicago. Their deep understanding of corporate structures, financial statements, and tax implications showcased a level of competence that instilled confidence throughout the entire process. They collaborated seamlessly with financial experts, forensic accountants, and other…
If you would like an attorney to contact you for a free consultation, please complete this form.