Beermann Law Group, Ltd
Honesty. Integrity. Finality.

Understanding how courts allocate parental responsibilities

We have seen a number of significant changes to family law this year in Illinois. Illinois has decided to move away from the phrases child custody and visitation. In fact, those terms have been eliminated from the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. While some of the changes seem somewhat semantic in nature, the reasons for the changes are more related to the changes in family structures that exist today.

The well being of children remains at the core of resolving parenting disputes

In family law disputes involving minor children, judges continue to evaluate what will serve the best interests of the children. However, the courts know seek to allocate parental responsibilities and parenting time. Traditionally, parents could seek joint custody or sole custody and then a visitation schedule would be arranged. The new law allows for more flexibility in the decision making process and allocating decision making responsibilities.

Decisions concerning how a child will be raised are broken down into four different categories:

  • Decisions concerning the child's education
  • Healthcare and medical decisions
  • Decisions regarding faith and religious considerations
  • Authority to allow children to participate in extra-curricular activities

Parents are generally encouraged to arrive at a reasonable agreement concerning how decisions will be made, and who will have the authority to make the decisions in a parenting plan that is provided to the court. If parents cannot agree to a comprehensive plan, courts will typically order the parents to try to settle their differences in mediation. While the new law includes the potential for greater flexibility, the defined areas of responsibility can lead to difficult disputes.

The allocation of responsibilities can include joint authority in any of the four categories, sole authority for one parent to make decisions in a specific area, or any combination of sole and joint responsibility to create a workable solution to serve the child's well-being. Obviously, navigating the new rules and potential outcomes can be daunting. An experienced family law attorney can explain the differences, how judges may view a particular dispute and help you to protect your parental rights.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

We Are Here To Help

Call or email us for a free 30-minute consultation at our Libertyville office.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Beermann Law Group, Ltd.
728 Florsheim Drive
Libertyville, IL 60048

Phone: 847-680-7070
Fax: 847-816-6122
Libertyville Law Office Map

Review Us