Decisions regarding where children will live and how they will be raised are among the most contentious issues in many divorces. While it’s still common to refer to these ideas as child custody and visitation, Illinois law has evolved to calls these concepts decision-making authority and decision-making authority.
Many states have adopted laws that make shared parental responsibilities the presumptive choice for family courts. However, Illinois has declined to follow suit, making it much easier for one parent to grab sole decision-making authority and reduce the other parent to the role of visitor. This presents divorcing parents with two narrow alternatives: negotiate a joint parenting agreement or face a contentious, high-stakes custody battle.
At Arami Law, we’re determined to uphold your parental rights. When a negotiated solution is possible, we work toward a manageable plan that benefits both sides. But when your spouse is set on undermining your relationship with your children, we fight hard for their best interests and yours.
The term “custody” was formerly used to refer to particular rights and duties that a parent or guardian has regarding a child. Under this old terminology, divorcing spouses had the option of physical custody and legal custody. Now, these responsibilities are divided up in a parenting plan, which covers:
If the divorce is amicable or uncontested, the parties can negotiate a parenting plan on their own or work out any minor conflicts in mediation. However, if the court must decide the issue, it tends to favor giving most parental responsibilities to the primary caregiver, usually the mother. In these situations, the other parent often must pay child support to the primary caregiver for the child as well.
The noncustodial parent (the one the child does not live with most often) will normally be awarded parenting time, also known as visitation. Unfortunately, conflicts can arise long after the divorce if one former spouse attempts to interfere with parenting time or alienate the other parent from the child. Issues with established parenting plans can also arise if one parent wants or needs to move out of state or a great distance away from the child’s current residence. In other cases, a third-party, often a grandparent, may be awarded parental responsibilities because neither parent is fit. Our firm has experience handling each of these types of cases, and depending on your circumstances, we can explain your options and your rights.
Nothing can replace the time you have with your children, and your rights as a parent are worth any fight. The trusted divorce attorneys at Arami Law have the experience and determination it takes to negotiate a fair parenting plan, and the tenacity to win in court when needed. Contact us today at 312-212-1399, or use our convenient online form, to schedule a consultation at our Chicago office.
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