If you are a divorcing parent of one or more minor children, you can expect a parenting time order, more commonly known as child custody or a parenting plan, to be part of your divorce settlement. This order outlines your time schedule with your child and your individual responsibilities for him or her after your divorce. By creating this type of order, the court does its part in ensuring that your child continues to have a consistent relationship with both parents after your divorce is finalized.
How Child Custody is Determined in Illinois
The court determines your child’s parenting plan based on what it deems to be the arrangement that is in your child’s best interest. It makes this determination by considering a set of factors about your child and family, which include:
- The child’s relationship with each parent;
- Each parent’s financial capacity to provide for the child;
- The child’s physical, academic, medical, and emotional needs;
- The child’s current routine and the desirability of maintaining it;
- Any domestic violence in either parent’s household;
- Each parent’s willingness to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; and
- In cases in which the child is able to articulate a well-reasoned preference for his or her custody, the child’s preference may be considered.
Your Rights and Legal Obligations as a Parent
As a parent, you have certain rights as well as certain legal obligations. Your lawyer can explain them to you in greater detail. These rights and obligations include:
- The right to pursue child support from your former partner to help cover your child-related expenses;
- The obligation to comply with your parenting plan and child support order;
- The right to seek a modification to your parenting plan when one is warranted. This includes altering it to accommodate your long-range move;
- The right to make legal decisions on your child’s behalf as permitted by your parenting plan; and
- The right to spend time with your child according to your parenting time order.
Advocating for Yourself and Your Child
Your lawyer’s job is to act as your advocate. This role includes:
- Negotiating with your spouse’s lawyer and the court to promote your interests;
- Protecting your rights;
- Helping you understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent; and
- Helping you gather and use relevant evidence to support your positions in court and in negotiations. This can include defeating false accusations about your actions and demonstrating your day-to-day role in your child’s life.
Work with an Experienced Mt. Prospect Family Lawyer
When you need to develop, modify, or enforce an Illinois child custody order, work with an experienced Rolling Meadows family lawyer. Your lawyer’s job is to protect your rights and help you pursue your interests. To get started with a member of our team at The Delaney Heckman, contact our office today to schedule your confidential legal consultation.