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Parental Responsibility Attorneys In The Chicagoland Area

When parents decide to end their marriage in divorce, they often disagree about the roles that each parent will play in raising their children. Which parent a child will live with and who will make decisions about a child’s education and care are important considerations. Disagreements can become contentious, but by putting their children’s best interests first both during and after their divorce, parents can resolve disputes over parental responsibility and can build a solid foundation for working together to raise their children. Divorcing couples may not be effective as husband and wife, but they will be parents forever and therefore should attempt to cooperate in raising their children.

At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our skilled attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in family law. We take a personal, family-oriented approach to each case, working to protect our clients’ rights, aggressively advocate for their interests, and arrive at a solution to favorably solve child-related matters.

Illinois Parental Responsibility Laws

Illinois law no longer uses the term “custody” when referring to decisions about children during divorce. The term “custody” implied that one parent had control over the children to the other parent’s detriment. The law now describes child-related matters as the “allocation of parental responsibility” and the “allocation of parenting time.” Four areas of decision-making responsibility for children under Illinois Law are necessary elements that affect parental responsibility. Those four responsibilities of a parent include the following:

  • Education – The choice of a child’s school attendance, whether a child needs tutoring, and any other necessary education-related needs.
  • Healthcare – Decisions related to a child’s medical, dental, and mental health needs and the treatments they will receive.
  • Religion – A child’s religious preference, where a child will attend church, or if a child should receive religious training.
  • Extracurricular activities – Decisions about a child’s participation in sports, clubs, musical lessons, or other activities.

In each of these four areas, the responsibility may be allocated to one parent or shared between both parents. When making decisions about how to allocate parental responsibility, courts shall consider several factors to determine a child’s best interests. These factors include the following:

  • The children’s wishes, taking their level of maturity and their ability to express their preferences into account.
  • The parents’ wishes.
  • The children’s needs.
  • How well a child has adjusted to their current living situation, their home, school, and surrounding community.
  • Whether parents will be able to cooperate in making decisions, or if conflict between parents will make it difficult to share in decision-making responsibilities.
  • Each parent’s past level of participation in a child’s decision-making process.
  • Agreements which the parents had previously made about decision-making for a child.
  • How parents’ and a child’s daily schedules and the distance between the parents’ homes will impact the child’s best interests.
  • Whether parents are willing and able to cooperate when transporting a child between their homes.
  • Whether each parent is willing and able to encourage their children to have a close, continuing relationship with the other parent.

The court’s primary focus when making these decisions is to promote and protect the children’s best interests. One key factor to be considered is whether children are in any danger while in the care of a parent. If a parent is a sex offender or possesses an addictive personality, or if the court believes the children are in danger of physical violence, abuse, or neglect when in a parent’s care, the court may restrict that parent’s parental responsibilities. The attorneys at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. are experienced and knowledgeable when dealing with these issues and are often successful in resolving parenting-related matters.

Contact Chicagoland Area Divorce Lawyer

The decisions made by a court about parental responsibilities will have a major impact on parents’ and children’s lives for years to come. While many divorcing parents are able to reach an agreement about these responsibilities through mediation or collaborative law, it may become necessary to fight for your parental rights in court. In contested cases, you need a skilled, experienced advocate on your side who can demonstrate that you are able to provide for your children’s best interests.

The attorneys of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. can protect your rights and provide the advocacy you need throughout the divorce process. The law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. solves problems through successful negotiations or, if necessary, at trial through a judge’s decision. Contact a Chicagoland area divorce attorney at 630-934-2192.