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How Is Child Custody Determined in an Illinois Divorce?

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Joliet, IL divorce attorney child custody

If you are a parent who is thinking about ending your marriage, you probably have questions about child custody. In 2016, considerable changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect. Illinois has replaced the somewhat antiquated concept of child custody in favor of a more modernized approach. “Parental responsibilities” refers to the authority a parent has to make major decisions about his or her child, such as where the child will attend school. “Parenting time” refers to the time a parent spends caring for his or her child. Divorcing parents in Illinois are encouraged to make their own decisions about how to divide parental responsibilities and parenting time. If the parents are unable to reach a decision, the court may intervene and make a decision on their behalf.

Reaching an Agreement About Your Parenting Plan

The decisions you and your child’s other parent make about parental responsibilities and parenting time are written in your “parenting plan” or “parenting agreement.” Parents have 120 days after filing for divorce to submit a parenting plan. You will need to decide when the child will live with each parent, how the child will be transported between houses, and how major decisions about the child’s life will be made. Your parenting plan also includes information about issues that may arise in the future such as a parent relocating to a new residence or asking to modify the terms of the parenting plan.

Many divorcing parents struggle to reach an agreement about the terms of their parenting plan. A family law attorney can help you and your spouse negotiate the unresolved issues and find common ground. He or she may also be able to help you consider alternatives that you may not have even been aware of. Mediation is another way that many divorcing couples are able to reach an agreement about parenting issues.

Courtroom Litigation

If parents are not able to agree on the terms of the parenting plan, the case may go to trial. Illinois courts make child custody decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. When deciding on a parenting plan, courts will consider:

  • Each parent’s wishes regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time

  • Each parent’s health and well-being

  • The child’s adjustment to his or her school and community

  • Any past instances of domestic violence or abuse

  • The child’s wishes

  • Several other relevant factors

Contact a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney  

If you are getting divorced and you need help with child custody concerns, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We can assist in all divorce matters, including parenting plan negotiations, or if needed, represent you in court during your child custody dispute. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our experienced Will County divorce lawyers by calling us today at 815-733-5350.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.10.htm

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