In 2016, Illinois stopped using the term ‘custody’ and began referring instead to the allocation of parenting responsibilities and parenting time, with the former referring to responsibility for decision making related to a child’s education, religion, and living arrangements. Courts generally presume that awarding equal parenting time and allowing both parents to have an equal say in parental responsibilities is in a child’s best interests, although in some cases, they are willing to limit these parental rights.
How parenting time and decision making responsibility are divided has important repercussions for the children involved, whose personal lives, extracurricular activities, and education could be affected. For help coming up with a parenting plan that is in your own child’s best interests, please contact our dedicated child custody and visitation attorneys today.
Allocating Parenting Responsibilities vs Parenting Time
Allocating parenting responsibilities refers to determining which parents have a say when it comes to making important decisions about how the child will be raised, as well as his or her welfare. This usually includes determinations related to where the child will attend school and what types of medical care he or she can receive. As mentioned earlier, courts usually attempt to give both of a child’s parents an equal share of authority over these types of decisions. However, in some cases, one parent may be given sole decision-making authority with regards to certain issues, such as medical care, while the other parent will primarily be responsible for making decisions about a child’s education or religion. Allocating parental time, on the other hand, involves determining a set schedule of when a child will reside with each parent.
Allocating parenting time and decision making responsibilities both have significant effects on a child’s school arrangements, so parents who are given an equal say in their child’s education will need to work together. While many families attempt to keep their children in the same school after divorce, this is not always possible, in which case, the parties will need to find an alternative school that will give their child the best possible education. Failing to come to an agreement about these issues could result in a child starting school late, which can turn an emotional and stressful time into an even more difficult situation.
Similarly, divorced parents who share parenting responsibility will need to structure their visitation schedules and living situations to account for their child’s education, which can be especially difficult when one parent does not live within the school district. Unless doing so is not in a child’s best interests, many courts encourage parents to keep a child enrolled in the same school, or to enroll a child in the school district of the parent with whom the child spends the majority of his or her time. Regardless of a couple’s decision, it is important for the parties to keep their personal feelings about each other from negatively affecting their child’s education.
Call a Mount Prospect Family Law Attorney Today
In the event that you are seeking a divorce from your spouse and need to draft a parenting plan, or if you are already divorced and a dispute has arisen over your child’s living arrangements, religion, or schooling, you need the professional counsel of one of the experienced Mount Prospect child custody and visitation lawyers at the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC. Contact us today at 847-255-9925 for a free consultation.