Allocation of Parental Responsibility in Illinois
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolutions of Marriage Act requires the establishment of a “Parenting Plan” to manage the allocation of parental duties, responsibilities, decision making rights, and parenting time with regards to the couple’s minor child or children. A Parenting Plan will address concerns such as how long will the child will spend with each parent, how significant parenting decisions are decided, how the child or children will be picked up or dropped off, and how visitation is handled during vacation and holidays.
All Parenting Plans must be approved by the judge overseeing the divorce, separation, visitation, or visitation modification case. It is essential that the Parenting Plan is comprehensive and complete. The judge will review the plan and he or she will consider the following issues before rendering a decision:
- The desires of the child;
- The desires of the parents;
- Any history of domestic violence;
- Any history of sex abuse;
- The relationship between the child, siblings, and parents that affect the child’s happiness and stability;
- The consequences of the parenting plan on the child’s performance in school, happiness and overall wellbeing;
- The health and mental well-being of the child;
- The health and mental well-being of the parents;
- Any history of threats or child abuse; and
- The willingness of the parents to encourage a relationship with the other parent.
When the judge approves the Parenting plan, the Parenting Plan will then become a court order, and each parent will be bound to the terms of the order. A Parenting Plan may only be modified through the legal modification process.
In some cases, the terms cannot be agreed upon by the parents through mediation or through the negotiation process. In those circumstances, settlement negotiations will be handled in the courtroom. Judges prefer to see parents working together amicably to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. However, you and your attorney should be prepared to litigate your interests in court.
The Longe Law Firm will work hard to protect your parental rights and we will advocate for your interests.
If you have questions about our family law services or to schedule an initial appointment to discuss your case with us, call The Longe Law Firm at 708-803-5029.