Every divorce matter is fraught with emotion, but custody matters are often more so. Custody concerns can also arise outside of marriage, after divorce or establishment of parentage, and the need for custody modifications as time passes is not uncommon. If you are up against a custody issue, turn to an experienced custody attorney in Chicago for the professional legal guidance that you need. As you may or may not know, child Custody is now known in Illinois as parental responsibility in terms of an allocation of parenting time and decision-making being outlined in an allocation judgment. The term Custody is no longer utilized in the practice of parenting time and decision-making for parents in Illinois.
In the State of Illinois, the law addresses parental responsibilities through decision-making and parenting time (physical custody). Parental responsibility refers to who will be making important decisions regarding your children as you move forward, including decisions about the following:
You and your children’s other parent can share this decision-making power (making important decisions on behalf of your children together), one of you can take on the full responsibility, or you can divide this responsibility according to the kinds of decisions being made. The everyday decisions that parents must make on a regular basis are left to the parent who is responsible for the children at the time they come up.
Physical custody is called parenting time in Illinois, and it refers to how you and your children’s other parent divide your parenting schedule. Some parents devise elaborate schedules that allow them to split their time fairly evenly – in accordance with their own scheduling complications. Often, however, one parent will have more time with the minor children than the other and overnights are a key consideration.
In Illinois, sole custody and joint custody are no longer terms that are utilized. Many parents hope to obtain sole custody of their children – often without being clear of the legal meaning. In Illinois, sole custody can be interpreted to mean when one parent takes on the decision-making responsibility on his or her own. When parents share joint custody, it it can be interpreted to mean that they share in decision-making on key components such as religion, extracurricular, medical, and education. As far as parenting time is concerned, that outlines which parent has the minor children on what days each week.
The parenting arrangements you negotiated (or the court provided for you) when your children were much younger – and your schedules revolved around them – may no longer be relevant. Further, major life events, such as a career advancement that leads to a job elsewhere, can make even the most careful parenting arrangements challenging. In this case, you might be able to agree to a parenting modification, relocation or petition of the court for a wide variety of requests related to changes.
The custody attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW in Chicago understand the significant weight that every parenting concern bears and are committed to skillfully advocating for your case’s most favorable resolution. For more information about how we can help you, please don’t wait to contact us today.
I knew we were going to have a custody battle from day one. It was going to be mean and messy and expensive and long. I did not know if I could handle it but I had to do it for my kids. Jennifer litigated my case to the end - we had an attorney for the kids, we had psych evaluations, we had reports for the Judge, we had court date after court date. She was strategic, smart, planned well ahead, and kept on top of everything. Thanks to her and her legal eagles my kids are in a…
We were not married but had two kids and we were both listed as the parents on the birth certificates. What I did not know at the time was that the birth certificate (for parents who are not married) does not count in Chicago! You have to have a paternity test or have signed some special paperwork at the hospital that we did not know about at the time. Ward Family Law prepared the court filings so that we could establish our parental rights. Thank you!
At the end of my divorce case I realized that the paperwork required us to provide the court with a Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in order for our retirement and investment accounts to be divided as we had agreed. The problem was that we did not have them done in time. Jennifer and her team stepped in and handled contacting the plan administrators, completing the draft QDROs, submitting them for pre-approval of everyone and then presenting them to the court. While we had hoped this was super easy there were a lot of steps and a lot of things…
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