Child Custody Attorneys Wheaton

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Child Custody Attorneys Wheaton

Child custody encompasses your parental responsibilities and your parenting time in the State of Illinois, and both play important roles in terms of your parental rights. Child custody concerns are common in divorce, modifications made post-divorce, and breakups involving shared children outside of marriage. If you are facing a matter related to either parental responsibilities or parenting time, it’s time to consult with an experienced child custody attorney in Wheaton.

Your Parental Responsibilities

Parents enjoy the privilege of making important decisions for the well-being and health of their children.  Illinois law labels decision making authority parental responsibilities and recognizes four distinct categories of parental responsibilities.  These include:

  • Decisions about your children’s education
  • Decisions about your children’s health care
  • Decisions about your children’s religious upbringing
  • Decisions about your children’s extracurriculars

The ability and right to make significant decisions for your children is similar to legal custody, a term no longer used in Illinois law.  If you are seeking a divorce or establishing paternity, the court will require you to allocate decision-making authority for your children in each area.   You and your children’s other parent can share decision-making responsibility together, but if you cannot cooperate there are other options, including:

  • One of you may have the authority to break a tie in the event you are unable to reach a consensus together after honestly endeavoring to do so.
  • You may split decision-making authority between you in accordance with the kind of decision that needs to be made.  For example, one parent may make decisions about education and religion and the other parent may make decisions concerning health and extra-curriculars.
  • One of you may make these primary decisions on your own and may or may not be required to solicit the other parent’s opinion.

If you already have a court order allocating decision-making authority and one parent is not complying with the order or is not acting in the bests interests of your child, then a modification may be warranted.

The more mundane parenting decisions that never seem to end during the course of a day remain the purview of the parent who is with the kids at the time. Further, if there is an emergency, the parent who is available at the time is responsible for making the necessary decisions.

Parenting Time

Parenting time spells out when the kids are with you and when they are with their other parent.  Conflict over parenting time schedules is very common.  Ideally, you and your child’s other parent cooperate and set a schedule that meets each of your needs and the needs of your children.  If you cannot reach an agreement on your own, you have several options.

  • You may be required or elect to participate in mediation to help you and your child’s other parent work out a mutually agreeable schedule. Mediation may help diminish conflict and provide fresh perspective allowing you to resolve the conflict.
  • A guardian ad litum may be appointed to investigate and offer an opinion on a parenting schedule that is in the best interests of your children.
  • A court appointed custody evaluator may be appointed to help determine the amount of parenting time each parent should be allocated.

The court’s stance when it comes to parenting time is that – unless there is an important reason for ruling otherwise – it is in the children’s best interests to continue spending a good deal of time with both parents. And the court’s focus is always on the best interest of the children involved.

You Need an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Wheaton on Your Side

Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm in Wheaton is a compassionate child custody attorney who dedicates his practice to helping clients like you obtain favorable terms related to both parenting time and parental responsibilities. We’re on your side and here to help, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information today.

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