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Illinois Child Custody Concerns That Divorcing Parents Often Overlook

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County child custody attorney

Going through a divorce when you and your spouse have a child together is often much more complicated than a divorce that does not involve a minor child. There are many questions that divorcing parents will need to address as part of the legal process of ending your marriage, including whether you will share custody of your child or assign the majority of the parental responsibilities to one parent. If you plan to have a co-parenting arrangement, you will need to determine which parent the child will spend the majority of his or her time with, how the child will be transported between households, and a number of other issues, such as parenting time during the holidays.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Illinois replaced the terms “child custody” and “visitation” with the terms “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Divorcing parents in Illinois must decide how they will distribute parental responsibilities and parenting time, and these decisions will be formalized in their official parenting plan or parenting agreement.

Parents often underestimate just how many decisions they will have to make during the creation of their parenting plan. It is not enough to simply decide, for example, that the child will spend weekdays with his or her mother and weekends with his or her father. Parents must also determine how they will address issues such as:

  • Where will the child spend birthdays and major holidays?

  • Will parents keep the same parenting time schedule during the child’s summer break as they have during the school year?

  • How will decisions about the child’s extracurricular activities or religious and cultural ceremonies be made?

  • If a parent is absent during his or her assigned parenting time, should the other parent have the opportunity to care for the child?

  • How will family vacations be managed?

  • What happens if a parent wants to modify the terms of the parenting plan in the future?

These questions are only some of the many concerns that should be resolved in the parenting plan. Typically, the more issues that parents can agree on when creating the parenting plan, the more likely they are to have a cooperative and non-combative co-parenting relationship in the years to come.

What if Parents Cannot Agree About the Terms of the Parenting Plan?

Parents are not always able to decide how they will divide parental responsibilities and parenting time on their own. Many divorcing parents find that they are able to resolve child-related disagreements with guidance from an experienced divorce attorney, in addition to using mediation or the collaborative law process. If parents cannot reach an agreement through any other avenue, the court may need to intervene and determine a parenting plan on behalf of the parents.

Contact a Hinsdale Divorce Lawyer

If you are planning to divorce, and you and your spouse have a child, you will need to determine how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be divided. For help negotiating the terms of your Illinois parenting plan or to learn more about how mediation or collaborative law may help you resolve child custody disputes, contact the distinguished law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. Schedule a confidential consultation with our knowledgeable DuPage County parenting time attorneys by calling us today at 630-575-8585.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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