Shared parenting can be complicated for families that are currently going through a divorce in Cook County, but it is important for both parents to share in parental responsibilities. Illinois law used to talk about parental responsibilities in terms of child custody. With changes to the law, we no longer use the terms “legal custody” and “physical custody,” but instead refer to “significant decision-making responsibilities” and “parenting time.”
Developing a parenting plan in which parenting time is allocated, or going through a divorce in which the court allocates parental responsibilities, can be a complicated process. It is important to have an experienced Cook County parenting time lawyer on your side to ensure that your voice is heard.
How does Illinois law define parenting time? According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/600 et seq.), parenting time is defined as “the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child.”
Courts allocate parental responsibilities, including parenting time, based on what is in the best interests of the child. As we noted above, parents can develop a parenting plan together that allocates parenting time, but the court still must agree that the plan is in the best interests of the child.
What are caretaking functions that a parent exercises during parenting time? The statute defines caretaking functions as the responsibility to interact with the child or arrange that interaction of supervision of the child by others. The statute cites some of the following as examples of caretaking functions:
There are many different ways in which a parent provides caretaking functions, and these can change as the child ages and matures.
Are you in the process of filing for divorce, or are you considering divorce? If you have children with your spouse, it is extremely important to work with a Cook County parenting time lawyer on your case. An advocate at our firm can speak with you today about your family’s situation and can tell you more about options that may be available to you. Contact Arami Law to learn more.
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