How Are Child Custody Decisions Made in an Illinois Divorce?
When two parents are divorcing and have a child or children, it can be incredibly difficult for the spouses to try and determine a workable child custody agreement. Illinois recently changed the language used to describe child custody. “Parental responsibilities” refers to a parent’s ability to make important decisions in a child’s life, such as where they will attend school and what religion they will practice. “Parenting time” relates to the physical care and supervision of a child.
If you are getting divorced in Illinois and you share children with your spouse, you will be asked to create a parenting plan that describes the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. If you and your spouse cannot agree on these matters, the court may need to intervene.
Disagreements Regarding the Parenting Plan May Necessitate Court Intervention
Parents divorcing in Illinois use a parenting agreement or parenting plan to describe how the children will be cared for. It can be difficult for many parents to reach a mutually agreeable parenting plan. Sometimes, the court orders the parents to attend mediation, where they work with a neutral third party to develop a parenting plan.
However, when spouses cannot agree on a parenting plan, a court will have to step in and a judge will have to decide on the unresolved issues.
While many people presume that the mother automatically gets an advantage in these cases, Illinois emphasizes that decisions need to reflect the best interests of a child. In some cases, the father receives the majority of the parental responsibilities and parenting time.
When deciding what type of parenting arrangement is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider the relationship of the child to each parent, each parent’s ability to care for a child, and a child’s wishes when a child is old enough to express their desires. The court’s decision could also be impacted by any incidents of domestic violence or abuse.
If there are concerns about a child’s safety with a parent, courts can take additional measures to protect the child, including requiring that all visits with children be supervised. It is also possible that a court could prohibit any overnight visits, prohibit a parent from being under the influence of any drugs, or require visits to occur in a certain location.
Contact a Kane County Child Custody Lawyer
If you are in the midst of a dispute about child custody in Illinois, you do not have to navigate this challenging situation alone. Let the Geneva child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates help.
Call 630-232-9700 or contact us online to schedule an initial confidential consultation.