Parenting Time And Visitation

Protecting Time With Your Children

When a couple with children decides to divorce or separate, one of the most challenging issues to resolve is the allocation of parenting responsibilities. Previously called “child custody,” allocation of parental responsibilities establishes parental decision-making authority as well as a “parenting time” schedule. If you are going through a divorce or dissolution of a relationship and have children under the age of 18, it is important to consult an experienced family lawyer.

The experienced attorneys at Caesar & Bender, LLP, have successfully handled hundreds of Chicago-area divorces and custody arrangements. Our firm is well-known and well-respected for its experience with complex family law cases and its deep knowledge of issues involving children.

How Has the Law Changed in Illinois?

Illinois no longer uses the terms “child custody” or “visitation.” Instead, the phrases “parenting time” and “allocation of parental responsibilities” are used. The change was introduced to remove the impact of the negative connotation of “custody” as something one parent would win at the expense of the other. Now, instead of a win/loss context, the new language makes determining parenting time and responsibilities something that both parents can view as something to actively share and contribute to for the well-being of their child(ren).

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and How It Is Determined

In Illinois, “parenting time” refers to the time that a child spends with each parent and has replaced the former concept of “visitation.” In most cases, both parents will have the right to spend time with their child, but it must be decided how this time is shared. The allocation of parental responsibilities also includes allocation of “significant decision-making”, which refers to issues of long-term importance for a child including medical, education, religion and extracurricular activities. Decision-making rights for these four areas can be allocated to either one or both of the parents.

If the parents can agree on a schedule and allocation of decision making, it will be reviewed by the court and approved as long as it is in the children’s best interest. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan or allocation of decision making, the court will make the determination based on the best interest of the minor children. In Illinois, courts consider several factors when determining the best interests of the children.

We Are Here to Help

Decisions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time will have a dramatic impact on your child’s life. Moreover, this process can be complicated to navigate, even when both parents cooperate and agree on a parenting plan. Seek out a skilled and experienced lawyer to advise you on all your legal options.

At Caesar & Bender, LLP, we understand the sensitive nature of parental responsibilities and parenting time, and we will work to ensure that the best possible arrangements are made for you and your children. Contact our firm online or call today at 312-236-1500.