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Parenting Time & Parental Responsibilities: Decision-Making And Parenting Time

For parents, going through a divorce or separation brings an added level of stress and uncertainty. You need to know how to protect your parental rights — while, to the best extent possible, preserving family relationships and creating the best environment for your child to thrive.

At Taege Law Offices, our Chicago family law lawyers have vast knowledge and experience representing parents in cases involving the allocation of parental responsibilities. We understand the importance of finding cooperative, effective solutions that keep families in a good place and protect children. At the same time, our legal team is always ready to fight to protect your parental rights.

The Allocation Of Parental Responsibilities

The state of Illinois no longer officially uses the terms ‘child custody’ or ‘child visitation’ in legal proceedings. Instead, parents should expect to hear references to terms such as ‘allocation of parental responsibility,’ the ‘allocation of decision-making authority’ and ‘allocation of parenting time’.

Decision-Making Authority (Child Custody)

Decision-making authority is a parental responsibility. It can be awarded to one or both parents. Notably, decision-making authority is broad and varied. It refers to all important decisions that affect the child’s education, health, religion and extracurricular activities.

Parenting Time (Child Visitation)

Parenting time is another parental responsibility. The allocation of parenting time refers to where and when a child will spend time with each parent. There is no standard rule for parenting time. Each case is different and parenting time depends on the unique circumstances of each family.

You Need A Viable Parenting Plan

Under Illinois law, divorcing parents are tasked with trying to create a viable parenting plan that creates a positive environment for their child. This plan will address the allocation of parental responsibilities — including both decision-making authority and parenting time — in reasonable detail.

Ideally, parents will be able to work together to negotiate a mutually agreeable parenting plan that works best for the entire family. Illinois family law courts generally defer to the wishes of parents when they can agree on a viable plan together. However, if a parenting plan cannot be reached, or the proposed parenting plan is not in the child’s best interests, a family law court can step in and allocate the parental responsibilities.

Understanding The ‘Best Interests Of The Child’ Standard

Illinois operates under the ‘best interests of the child’ legal standard. If there is a dispute over the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court will resolve it by determining what is best for the child. The needs and desires of parents are always secondary. If you are involved in a dispute over decision-making or parenting time, it is imperative that you seek guidance from an experienced Illinois family law attorney. Your attorney will help you prove that you can provide the very best environment for your child.

Contact Our Chicago Child Custody Lawyers Today

At Taege Law Offices, our Illinois family law attorneys have extensive experience representing parents. We offer compassionate, sensitive legal guidance that is always properly tailored to fit the unique circumstances of each client. For a free, fully confidential consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today at 312-667-7706. Our attorneys represent clients throughout Chicagoland and all of Illinois.

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