For a parent, there’s nothing more distressing than being separated from your young children. But, if you’ve decided to dissolve your marriage, a change in your children’s living situation is inevitable. At Rogers Law Office in Champaign, I sympathize deeply with parents who want to spend the maximum amount of time with their children. I work tirelessly to ensure that your rights as a parent and your children’s welfare are protected. In most cases, courts find that frequent and regular contact with both parents is beneficial to the children. In some cases, however, children must be protected from an abusive or neglectful parent. Whatever situation you are in, I am prepared to work for the allocation of parental responsibilities most favorable to you.
Illinois family law uses the term allocation of parental responsibilities in place of custody and visitation. The main elements are:
The allocation of parental responsibilities is detailed in the parenting plan approved by the court. Allocation of primary parenting time can have a significant impact on child support payments.
A court can order a shared allocation of parental responsibilities or award rights solely to one parent. The court considers many factors, including:
The court makes its decision on the basis of the best interest of the children.
A court order for child custody can be modified if a change would be in the best interests of the children. For example, if a custodial parent repeatedly refuses to make a child available for parenting time, a court could change the parenting plan, awarding primary parenting time to the other parent.
One issue that comes up often is relocation. If a parent with primary parenting time wants to move away with the child, and such a move would deprive the other parent of their rights, a court could modify the parenting plan so there is greater time sharing. Or the court could refuse to approve the move, if doing so would be in the best interest of the child.
Very often, following a divorce or the death of a parent, a child’s grandparents may feel they’re being pushed out of the child’s life. In Illinois, grandparents have a limited right to petition the court for parenting time. The court considers the existing relationship between child and grandparents and whether contact would be in the best interests of the child.