If you are a divorced parent of one or more minor children, parenting time is an important part of your life. Parenting time, formerly known as visitation, is a key part of any parenting plan issued by an Illinois county circuit court. Consult with an experienced child custody lawyer in Prospect Heights for legal guidance for your parenting plan.
How is Parenting Time Determined in Illinois?
In Illinois, the court determines parenting time and parental responsibilities according to what it determines to be in the child’s best interest. In making this determination, the court considers a set of factors that include:
- Each parent’s age and health status;
- The child’s medical, physical, emotional, and academic needs;
- The stability of the child’s current environment and the desirability of maintaining this environment;
- The child’s relationship with each parent;
- The child’s relationships with others in each parent’s household;
- Each parent’s willingness to comply with court orders;
- Each parent’s willingness to facilitate a positive relationship between the child and the other parent;
- Each parent’s day-to-day role in caring for the child;
- Each parent’s financial capacity to provide for the child; and
- If the child is mature enough to articulate a well-reasoned preference for his or her child custody order, the court may consider the child’s preference.
The court has the discretion to weigh certain factors more heavily than others. Typically, it gathers information on these factors from the parents’ testimonies and testimonies from other parties involved in the case, like a child custody evaluator or a guardian ad litem.
What are My Rights and Requirements as a Parent?
As a parent, you are required to comply with the court’s orders regarding your child. If you do not agree with the terms of your parenting time order or another aspect of your custody order, the correct way to pursue a change is through a petition for modification, not by simply ignoring the order. Failure to comply with your parenting time order is contempt of court and can subject you to penalties.
Filing a petition to modify your parenting plan is a right. This is not your only legal right as a parent. Other rights you hold include:
- The right to pursue child support;
- The right to spend time with your child in accordance with your parenting plan;
- The right to object to your former spouse’s proposed move with your child;
- The right to object to your former spouse’s proposed adoption of your child; and
- The right to make decisions on your child’s behalf without interference in accordance with your parenting plan.
Work with an Experienced Prospect Heights Child Custody Lawyer
The right time to start working with an experienced family lawyer to handle your child custody challenges is now. Contact our team at The Delaney Heckman today to schedule your initial legal consultation in our office. We can answer any questions you have and help you work toward a productive solution for your case.