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July 26,2021

Child Custody, Family Law

Understanding Parental Responsibilities Allocations in Illinois

HomeBlogChild CustodyUnderstanding Parental Responsibilities Allocations in Illinois

When two parents decide to divorce, part of their job is determining what their minor children’s lives will look like going forward. Parenting agreements (also referred to as a parenting plan or an allocation of parental responsibilities) set forth which parent the children will live with, how their time will be divided, who will make significant decisions for the minor children, how disputes will be handled, and more. 

Sometimes the parent’s relationship is amicable, and they can reach an agreement relatively quickly. Other times, they don’t agree but can with time and guidance can negotiate an agreement. Still, in other cases, the parents can’t work out an agreement, even with the help of an Illinois parental responsibility allocation attorney or a mediator. At the Goodman Law Firm, we help parents negotiate the allocation of parental responsibilities whenever possible. If not possible, we can represent you in court to ensure the best outcome possible in your case. 

Illinois Law: Parenting Time and Significant Decision Making Responsibility

Illinois law refers to child custody as parental responsibilities.  Parental responsibilities include parenting time and significant decision-making authority.  Significant decisions include those relating to the child’s education, healthcare, religious training, and extra-curricular activities.  Significant decision-making authority may be vested in one parent only, shared equally (requiring a consensus).  Alternatively, each domain (i.e., religion or education, etc.) can be allocated independently.  For instance, one parent could make all religious decisions, the other educational decisions, and together they could share healthcare decisions.

Who the child lives with and how their visitation schedule works is now referred to as parenting time. Parenting time can be shared in a number of different ways, depending on the specifics of the family situation. For example:

  • The child lives with one parent and has no visitation with the other—this is common in cases where abuse has occurred or the other parent chooses not to be involved.
  • The child splits time living with both parents—generally, the court only approves this type of arrangement if the parents live reasonably close to each other and it’s not too stressful for the child.
  • The child lives with one parent but has regularly scheduled visitation time with the other—visitation time usually includes weekday dinners, holidays, weekends, school breaks, and summer break.

Your Illinois parental responsibility allocation lawyer can help you negotiate a parenting plan that will benefit you, your ex-spouse, and your child(ren). 

How is Parenting Time Allocated?

Whenever possible, it’s best for everyone if the parents can work out an agreement regarding parenting time. When this happens, it usually works out best for the entire family as it considers their lifestyle, values, budget, and what’s in the child’s best interests. If the parents can’t agree on how parenting time should be allocated, the judge will step in, and aided by a guardian ad litem, child’s representative and/or other experts, will order an allocation of parenting time guided by the bests interests of the minor children.

Let an Experienced Illinois Parental Responsibility Allocation Attorney Help

Divorcing with children is especially hard. At the Goodman Law Firm, our Illinois parental responsibility allocation lawyers understand the unique challenges you face as well as your anxieties. We use our knowledge of the court system and negotiation skills to help you find workable solutions. Contact us today to schedule your confidential parenting time consultation.

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