Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time in Illinois

For nearly two years now, the terms “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” have been used in place of the terms “child custody” and “visitation.” Illinois family laws were updated in January 2016 to better recognize and support children’s rights, encourage a healthier relationship between parents and children, and ensure more positive parental decision-making.

For parents who do not get along well with each other, however, the change in Illinois laws can be viewed as both good and bad. Now, each parent has authority over different areas of decision-making, as parents can no longer fight for “child custody.” But, if one parent decides to move to a state where “child custody” is still mentioned in the State laws, then those courts may have difficulty figuring out which parent is more responsible for the child.

What Are the Parents’ Responsibilities?

When a parent files for divorce, a parenting plan is then filed by the parents, either together or individually. The parenting plan determines major decisions for the child, by the parents, such as which school the child will attend, which religion he or she will practice, and who will be the child’s primary care physician.

If parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan and the allocation of parental responsibilities, parents are then required to mediate their differences. If one parent is allocated most of the decision-making responsibilities, then he or she may be responsible for making sure the following are met:

  • The child is groomed properly to go to school;
  • The child is always taken to his or her school and extracurricular activities;
  • The child makes it to his or her doctor’s appointments;
  • The child is correctly punished, when necessary;
  • The child always does his or her house chores; and
  • When necessary, a trusted babysitter is hired to watch the child.

It is important to note, however, that both parents have the right to make routine, day-to-day decisions regarding the children when in their care, as well as the right to make emergency decisions with regard to the child’s health and safety when in their care.

Moreover, if parents are able to agree on splitting the decision-making responsibilities, then one parent, for instance, may make all educational decisions while the other makes all health-related decisions.

Contact a Wheaton Parental Responsibilities Attorney

If you or a loved one is going through the parental responsibilities establishment process, the attorneys at Abear Law Offices are ready to assist you with your case. Call our skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers at 630-904-3033 to schedule your free initial consultation.