Child Custody Attorney Near Me

Illinois Child Custody Lawyer Serving Clients in the Chicago Area

Are you considering filing for divorce in Chicago but concerned about how the court will make a decision about child custody? First, it is important to know that the term “child custody” has been replaced in Illinois. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the term child custody is now known as the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” When the court allocates parental responsibilities, it takes into account many different factors, and in some cases, parents even may be able to agree to a “parenting plan” that is in the best interests of the child.

At Arami Law Office, we are dedicated to helping Chicago residents with all child custody and family law matters. If you have questions about how your child custody case will be decided, it is important to speak with a child custody attorney in Chicago as soon as possible.

What Are Parental Responsibilities?

Under the old laws, child custody could mean two different things: legal custody (or making significant decisions about the child’s life and upbringing) and physical custody (or caring for the child and providing essential caretaking functions). Under the revised IMDMA, the term “parental responsibilities” still includes these different types of custody, but the language has changed. The statute makes clear that parental responsibilities have two aspects:

  • Significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child (previously known as legal custody); 
  • Parenting time, or the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child (previously known as physical custody).

Depending upon the specific facts of your case, the court may allocate significant decision-making responsibilities to one or both parents, and likewise, the court may allocate parenting time to one or both parents.

Developing a Parenting Plan

In Illinois, the court will only allocate parental responsibilities if the parents have not already agreed to a parenting plan. The parenting plan makes clear how parenting responsibilities will be shared between the two parents, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child. The IMDMA clarifies that a parenting plan must do the following:

  • Must be in writing;
  • Must be signed by both parents;
  • Must be submitted to the court for approval within 120 of submitting a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities; and
  • Must be approved by the court to take effect.

Generally speaking, parents can submit a parenting plan anytime after filing a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities and right up until the court enters a judgment. If the court approves a parenting plan, its terms become binding on the parties. An experienced Chicago child custody attorney can discuss your parenting plan with you and can ensure that your plan contains all of the required elements under the law.

Contact a Child Custody Attorney in Chicago

At Arami Law Office, we are committed to assisting families throughout the Chicago area with all family law matters. We know how difficult child custody proceedings can be, and we can act as your advocate throughout the process. If you have questions, an experienced child custody lawyer in Chicago can speak with you today. Contact Arami Law Office for more information.