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When a couple with children decides to divorce or separate, one of the most emotional issues that the couple must resolve is that of child custody. Referred to as parental responsibilities in Logan Square per Illinois code, if you have questions about with whom your child will live, who has the legal right to make decisions about your child, and how such issues are to be determined if you are going through a divorce, our experienced Logan Square child custody attorneys can help.
Defining Parental Responsibilities
Parental responsibilities is an overarching term that is further broken down into more specific categories in 750 ILCS 5/600: Parenting time and significant decision making responsibilities.
Parenting time simply refers to the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. In some cases, this time may be split evenly, or a child may spend the majority of time with one parent, while visiting with the other on a scheduled basis.
Significant decision making responsibilities with respect to a child means making decisions with long-term implications for the child, such as decisions about the child’s healthcare, religion, or education. Again, this may be shared amongst parents, or one parent may have more significant decision making power than does the other.
How Will a Court Decide?
The good news is that in Illinois, parents are encouraged to come to a determination about the allocation of parental responsibilities on their own. This means that you and your spouse can and should work together to determine with whom the child will live, whether or not the child will spend equal amounts of time with both parents, who will be the primary decision maker, and how disputes will be resolved if there is a disagreement about an important decision. This written agreement is known as a parenting plan.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about a parenting plan, then you will need to go to court where a judge will make the decision instead. A court must make a determination about parental responsibilities by considering the best interests of the child, a standard which weighs a number of factors, including the wishes of the child (in some cases), the amount of time each parent currently spends performing parental responsibilities, the mental and physical health of all parties involved, and more.
How an Attorney Can Help
An experienced Logan Square child custody attorney can be very helpful when you and your spouse are going through a civil action concerning parental responsibilities. Even if you and your spouse decide to resolve the matter out of court, an attorney can represent you during talks and can review a parenting plan before it is signed off on. If your case does go to court, an attorney can present your case to a judge and represent your best interests.
To schedule a case review with a family law attorney you can trust, contact our Logan Square legal team now online or by phone.
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