Until recently, Illinois had a joint custody law. The “joint” only referred to legal custody, and even in this area, the noncustodial parent’s rights were sharply limited. Today, Illinois has a co-parenting law. No longer do children “live” with one parent and “visit” the other one, at least in most cases. Instead, the current law usually requires both parents to take an active child-rearing role. So, non-residential (noncustodial) parents are usually entitled to more time with their children. And, they must be more than babysitters during their parenting time periods (periods of possession).
Now more than ever, both parents have important legal rights and responsibilities in child custody matters. As a result, both mothers and fathers need a strong Rolling Meadows family law attorney to advocate for them. This advocacy should include not just legal representation in court. An attorney must also be a good negotiator since most parental responsibility disputes settle out of court. Based on their clients’ wishes, lawyers must know when to compromise and when to stick to their guns.
Appointing the residential parent and determining the parenting time division are the two biggest priorities in an initial parental responsibility allocation division.
Most psychologists agree that, regardless of the terms used, children need to live with one parent and visit the other one. In many cases, one parent has an emotional, physical, or other disability which makes it impossible to be an effective residential parent. A substance abuse problem and a history of domestic violence are two of the big ones. In other situations, the determination is more subjective.
These same principles apply to the parenting time division. Abusive or addicted parents should not be alone with children for extended time periods. But in most other cases, there is a presumption that children benefit when they spend consistent, meaningful, and frequent amounts of time with each parent.
Some factors to consider in these determinations include the preference of the parents, the preference of the children, the current informal arrangement, and the fitness of each parent.
Parental responsibility allocations are not set in stone. The factors which determine an original order may change later. Parental substance abuse is a good illustration. If Mom kicks a habit or Dad develops a habit, the living and/or time-sharing arrangement should probably be reconsidered. Frequently, Rolling Meadows family law attorneys are able to settle such disputes out of court.
Other changes could have a similar effect. A relocation, even a short-distance relocation, could significantly affect the pick-up and drop-off ballet that happens every week. Job changes, which are even more frequent than residential changes, often mean more or less family time.
The modification rules are the same in all these situations. A judge may legally change parental responsibility orders if relevant circumstances have substantially changed and the requested modification is in the best interests of the children. Moving parties have the burden of proof on both these points.
Various legal solutions are available for your changing family. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Rolling Meadows, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. After-hours and virtual visits are available.
Walked in just for consultation, and in less than 45 days, my case was closed! Thanks to attorney Andrea Heckman, with all her passion and professional manner! Couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much for everything! Great attorney for all family needs! Thank you.
From the moment I walked in as a client to the end when everything was complete, I was very pleased with attorney Andrea Heckman, her knowledge, and professionalism! Her whole staff was always helpful. I would use them again if needed and refer them to everyone I know! Thank you.
Andrea Heckman has been my attorney helping/guiding/advocating for my children and I regarding my custody situation. We are in the process of working towards a more equal parenting schedule, and I have faith in her efforts and expertise to accomplish this.
I have used this office since 2018 and have nothing but excellent things to say. Andrea Heckman handled my divorce with no faults. Andrea is currently handling my child custody case and has been on top of everything! Andrea Heckman is an unstoppable force, and I would recommend her to anyone!
I could not ask for a better attorney to represent me during my case which is Andrea Heckman. Anytime I had any questions, I got a response in a timely manner. Andrea walked me through a very difficult time which was a divorce/child custody case. Andrea is very knowledgeable and motivating. The staff has been nothing but welcoming and professional. If I have to go to court for anything, I will definitely be giving this firm a call again.
Heckman Law is handling my divorce/custody. Andrea is very professional, knowledgeable, and responsive. She will take the time to answer and explain any questions you may have. She usually responds within a few hours. Honest about possible outcomes, whether it’s good or bad news. My ex doesn’t want to negotiate or cooperate with anything. Andrea is willing to fight in the courtroom for you. The case is ongoing.
I was represented by Andrea Heckman, and if it wasn’t for her, I would have been so lost. She guided me through my difficult situation. Some lawyers are about money. I knew that Andrea cared about me and my situation.
Ms. Heckman is a great lawyer. She helped me get time with my daughter when my ex was being nasty and refusing to let me see my baby. I thank her for all her hard work.
Ms. Heckman managed our parents’ will and advanced care planning documents expeditiously, skillfully, and with compassion during a stressful situation. We referred her to a family member for divorce with child custody issues, and she was pleased enough to refer her to 2 others for divorce services. A true professional.
Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.