Getting a divorce when you have children can be a daunting prospect. You will want to shield your children from conflict between you and your spouse as much as possible, but you will also want to make sure to protect your children’s best interests while safeguarding your parental rights. When determining how you will share the ongoing responsibilities of raising your children, you will want to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you understand the best ways to resolve disputes and create a workable plan that you and your spouse can follow going forward.
The family law attorneys of SBK Law Group have over 25 years of combined experience, and we can provide the legal help you need when addressing child-related issues. Whether your divorce is amicable or contested, we will assist you in reaching a resolution that provides for your family’s ongoing success. We can also assist unmarried parents in resolving child custody issues in a way that protects children’s best interests.
The right to make decisions about how children will be raised is referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities” in Illinois. This term covers what is commonly referred to as “legal custody.” During a divorce or child custody case, parents will need to determine how each parent will participate in making decisions in the following areas:
In many cases, parents will share equally in making these decisions. However, depending on children’s needs, agreements made between the parents, or the history of how parents have made decisions in the past, some or all of the areas of responsibility may be solely or primarily allocated to one parent.
In recognition of the fact that both mothers and fathers play an important role in raising their children, Illinois law does not grant “physical custody” to one parent and “visitation” to the other. Instead, the time children spend with each parent is known as “parenting time.” Depending on the amount of time each parent spent caring for children in the past, the needs of the children, and the ability of parents to cooperate, parents may be able to share equal or similar amounts of parenting time, or one parent may have the majority of the parenting time.
Regardless of how parenting time is allocated, a parent will be responsible for providing care for children during their periods of parenting time. They will also have the right to make decisions about how to meet children’s needs, including providing nutrition and addressing any emergency medical care that may be needed. Parenting time also allows the parties to determine how holidays will be celebrated, the length and duration of vacations, and who will exercise parenting time on school breaks.
During your divorce, you will need to create a parenting plan that addresses the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time while also specifying any rules that you and your ex-spouse will follow. If the two of you cannot reach an agreement about any of the issues in your parenting plan, a judge will need to make these decisions for you based on what they believe is in your children’s best interests.
Whether you are working to negotiate a divorce settlement or need to defend your parental rights in court, our attorneys can provide you with the legal representation you need. We will help you understand your rights, and we will work with you to reach a positive resolution to your case. To learn more about how we can help you achieve success in your divorce or child custody case, contact our office at 630-427-4407. We assist with family law cases throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and Cook County.