In Illinois, family law courts rarely use the term ‘custody.’ but instead refer to parenting time, which is defined as the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising care-taking functions and decision making responsibilities for his or her children. How parenting time is divided between two parents depends on what a court deems is in the child’s best interests. For help drafting your own parenting plan, please contact an experienced parenting time attorney who can assist you.
Couples who are willing to negotiate are often able to come up with their own parenting time arrangement, which if deemed to be in a child’s best interests, will be enforced by the court. However, if this is not possible, a court will create a plan that contains a parenting time schedule deemed to be in that child’s best interests. What is in a child’s best interests depends on the specific circumstances of a case and is determined based on an analysis of a number of factors, including:
The parenting time schedules that are created after an analysis of these factors address a variety of situations, including the division of time during:
For example, when it comes to dividing parenting time over holidays, many parents choose to alternate the holidays that they actually spend with the child, so a child could spend Thanksgiving with one parent during even-numbered years and with the other parent on odd-numbered years. Alternatively, many schedules reflect the parties’ wish to split each holiday equally, which is especially common in divorce cases in which two parents live close to each other and a holiday holds special cultural or religious significance. Ultimately, the type of parenting time schedule that a court orders depends on the family’s unique circumstances. If, for instance, one parent relocates to another state, special accommodations would need to be made to ensure that he or she received adequate visitation or parenting time.
If you have questions about creating your own parenting plan, please contact the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 today to speak with a dedicated and compassionate parenting time lawyer about your legal options.