Getting divorced in Chicago when there are children involved is never easy. Whether your kids are very young or are on the cusp of attending college, it is important to learn more about how parenting time will play a significant role in your divorce proceedings. Illinois law emphasizes the continuing importance of the parent-child relationship regardless of divorce, and shared parenting time is preferred unless there is a clear reason that one parent should not provide caretaking functions for the child.
If you are considering divorce and have questions about parenting time, or if you need help with your ongoing case, an experienced Chicago parenting time lawyer can assist you.
Parenting time is just one part of parental responsibilities under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/600 et seq.). As you might know, Illinois law no longer recognizes the term child custody, but instead uses the language of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parenting time, generally speaking, is one aspect of parental responsibilities.
How does parenting time fit into parental responsibilities more specifically? Courts recognize that parental responsibilities have two primary aspects – significant decision-making responsibilities and caretaking functions. We used to think about significant decision-making responsibilities as legal custody, while physical custody was a term that we have now replaced with caretaking functions. Parenting time is that time in which a parent exercises caretaking functions for the child as well as non-significant decision-making responsibilities. In other words, parenting time is the time that a parent spends with the child and provides care for the child.
Since parenting time is part of parental responsibilities in Chicago, there are two different ways that a parenting time schedule can be developed:
As you can imagine, creating a parenting plan can provide both parents with more flexibility in developing a schedule that works for them and their children, while also giving both parents more agency in the process. However, it can be difficult to come to an agreement with the other party during a contentious divorce proceeding, and in such situations, it may be impossible to develop a parenting plan. In these cases, the court will allocate parental responsibilities through an allocation judgment, including parenting time.
Are you going through a divorce with kids from the marriage, or are you considering divorce and wondering how parenting time will work for your family? It is important to speak with a dedicated parenting time lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible. An advocate at Arami Law Office can discuss your situation with you today. Contact us for more information about the services we provide to families in Chicago and throughout Cook County.
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