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Reeder & Brown, P.C.

Will County Parental Responsibilities Lawyers

Will County child custody Lawyer

Divorce Attorneys Serving Joliet and Plainfield Explain Allocation of Decision-Making Authority

Illinois rewrote its divorce laws in 2016 to eliminate divisive terms like custody and visitation, which seem to imply that one parent wins and the other parent loses. Instead, state law now encourages couples to take a more cooperative approach to post-divorce parenting. The key terms you need to know are:

  • Parenting plan – Parents are encouraged to negotiate a mutually agreeable parenting plan, or allocation of parental responsibilities. This plan covers two main areas, the parenting time schedule and the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities.
  • Parenting time – Parenting time refers to the time when a parent has physical care of a child and the sole responsibility to make routine decisions about the child's daily activities and any necessary emergency decisions affecting the child's health and safety.
  • Significant decision-making responsibilities – The parenting plan must designate whether one parent alone or both parents jointly will have the authority to make decisions of long-term importance in a child's life in each of these areas: (1) education, (2) health care, (3) religious upbringing, and (4) extracurricular activities.
  • Allocation judgment – If parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court-ordered plan is termed the allocation judgment.

At the law offices of Reeder & Brown, P.C., we understand that the issues that led you to divorce can also make it difficult to share parenting responsibilities with your ex. We will take the time to understand your concerns and priorities and to make sure that your final parenting plan addresses those concerns.

We have over 30 years' combined experience in negotiating divorce settlements and parenting plans for a wide variety of families. You can depend on us to carefully consider your specific circumstances and thoughtfully recommend solutions that will meet your needs and the needs of your children.

Illinois Laws on Parental Care Taking and Decision-Making for Children

You can rely on the attorneys of Reeder & Brown to look out for your rights and interests in all parenting plan negotiations and decisions. Because no one knows your family better than you do, we will work diligently to resolve all parenting issues at the negotiating table rather than leave these important decisions to a judge. As you consider your options, it can be helpful to understand the criteria that the court would consider in making these decisions.

When allocating parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities, Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.5 and 602.7) directs the court to make decisions based on the child's best interests, considering all factors including:

  • The wishes of the child, considering the child's age and ability.
  • The child's needs, including their adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of both parents and the child.
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate in decision-making.
  • The willingness of each parent to encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
  • The level of each's parents past participation in making significant decisions about the child or in taking care of the child.
  • The wishes of each parent.
  • The distance between the parents' residences, the cost and difficulty of transportation between the two homes, and the daily schedules of the parents and the child.
  • Any abuse, history of physical violence, or threat of physical violence by a parent against the child.
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant.

The court shall not consider the conduct of a parent that does not affect that parent's relationship to the child.

Joliet Parental Responsibilities Lawyers

The attorneys of Reeder & Brown, P.C. provide divorce, family law, and criminal defense services to clients throughout Will County, including the communities of Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Plainfield, and Shorewood. Contact us in our Joliet office at 815-885-5980 for a free consultation.

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