Although Illinois no longer uses the term child custody (changing to parental responsibilities and parenting time instead), the involved issues naturally remain as important as they’ve ever been. When it affects your time with your children and your parental rights, it’s a concern that you should not leave to chance, and you need an experienced child custody lawyer in Darien in your corner.
Parenting is a serious job that assumes an incredible array of responsibilities regarding your children’s health, safety, happiness, and overall well-being, and the terminology used by the State of Illinois addresses this fact. Parental responsibilities encompass both decision-making authority (what you may think of as legal custody) and parenting time (what you may think of as physical custody and visitation). The terms hammered out between you and your children’s other parent – or that are handed down by the court – make up your parenting plan. Legal issues related to parental responsibilities often arise with divorce, but they are also common to post-decree modifications and to parenting outside of marriage and divorce.
There are some primary decisions we make as parents that are addressed by the law directly. These include decisions about major life events, such as the following:
You and your ex can tackle these big picture decisions together, but you can also divide them according to the kind of decision that is being made. Further, one of you may hold tie-breaking authority or may even have sole decision-making discretion. It’s also important to note that the everyday decisions we make on behalf of our children remain the purview of the parent who is with the kids at the time.
If you and your children’s other parent are not together, you’ll need to address the matter of how you will be dividing your time with them. If you are able to negotiate the terms between yourselves, you can be as specific and creative with your scheduling as you’d like – every family typically has its own unique scheduling needs. The basic parenting time options include variations of the following:
If you are unable to reach a compromise and need the court to determine the matter on your behalf, you’ll likely receive one of the court’s basic parenting-time schedules.
If you are facing a concern related to your parental responsibilities, you need professional legal guidance on your side, and Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm in Darien, Illinois, is a compassionate child custody lawyer who is well prepared to help. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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