Chicago Family Law Attorney

We Can Protect the Rights of You and Your Child

We understand how important consistency is for children following a  divorce. By creating a parenting agreement, parents are able to outline a plan for their children’s future. Among other considerations, the parenting agreement includes an allocation of parental responsibility (formerly, custody). Allocation of parental responsibilities includes the allocation of parenting time and the allocation of decision-making responsibilities.  Often, parents are able to reach a mutual agreement about the terms of the parenting agreement.  When they cannot, it will be up to the court to assess the family’s circumstances and provide for the allocation of decision-making responsibilities between the parents.

At Kogut & Wilson, L.L.C., we understand that child-related decisions take priority over all other elements of their divorce for many couples. We know our clients want to continue to nurture their relationship with their child and provide for their upbringing. Our dedicated Chicago family law attorneys are well-versed in how our courts navigate these matters and how to ensure that our clients’ concerns and goals are heard by the judge.

    We’re ready to partner with you for this critical part of your divorce. Contact our team at (312) 565-4100 to start the process.

Understanding the Shift from Child Custody to Decision-Making Responsibilities

Recently, Illinois adopted a new version of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which controls all divorce proceedings in Illinois and is relied upon in all parentage actions. The treatment and terminology associated with child-related matters in divorce and parentage proceedings are some of the most significant changes included in this new version of the law. Where we used to consider whether parents would have joint custody, we now ask whether the parents will share decision-making responsibilities.

Decision-making responsibilities are divided into two categories: routine decision-making responsibilities and significant decision-making responsibilities. A parent generally has routine decision-making responsibilities over the day-to-day needs of their child during the parent’s parenting time. Significant decision-making responsibilities are those that have long-term importance for the children. Significant decision-making responsibilities can include decisions related to education, religion, medical care, extracurricular activities, and the best interests of the child. By providing for who will make these decisions for the child—or even laying out some of these decisions by mutual agreement—parents are able to create a clearer path forward for their children and their family.

Some of the factors considered in the allocation of parental responsibility include:

  • The parents’ wishes
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • The parents’ ability to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • The child’s ties to his or her current community
  • The child’s access to other family members
  • The child’s wishes (if he or she is old enough)
  • Any health or domestic violence concerns

Establishing an Agreement

In many cases, parents will have the opportunity to come to their own child custody agreement via mediation or with assistance of attorneys and submit their proposal to the court for approval. The courts want to see parents work together on these agreements and continue to work together for the sake of the children after the divorce.

If the parents cannot reach an agreement, attorneys will submit their clients’ arguments to the court. Our team of Chicago family law attorneys is well-versed in  these procedures and is ready to pursue a child custody arrangement that safeguards your role in your child’s life.

Ready to discuss your child custody concerns? Use our online form to request a consultation today.

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