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A Deeper Look at the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

 Posted on December 06,2023 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Blog ImageChild custody cases in Illinois following a divorce are known as the allocation of parental responsibilities. The change in Illinois law removed terms such as joint custody, sole custody, and visitation from the statutes. Instead of child custody, the courts allocate parental responsibilities, including significant decision-making rights and parenting time. A lawyer can help you with any questions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and other concerns that will arise during divorce proceedings.

Why The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

The state wanted to create more flexibility in family situations and recognize the role both parents play in the development and care of their children. Instead of a laundry list of terms, Illinois enacted two types of parental responsibilities for allocation:

  • Significant decision-making
  • Parenting time

Decision-making concerns the long-term issues that arise in a child's life. Significant decision-making is giving one parent more say over these long-term issues, which include a child's:

  • Education
  • Health care
  • Religion

Parenting time is meant to cover the time a child spends with each parent, the permanent address of the child, and taking care of the child's day-to-day needs. The permanent address is often the same as the parent who receives significant decision-making responsibilities. The daily needs often refer to basic caretaking tasks to ensure a child's well-being and best interests are looked after.

The Importance of a Child's Best Interest

There are two ways in which parental responsibilities are allocated:

  • Acceptable parenting plan
  • Judge's decree

Parents who work together to create a parenting plan that includes who should receive significant decision-making responsibilities, a schedule for parenting time, and other necessary accommodations for their children are more likely to have their wishes approved. So long as the parenting plan is in the child's best interest, the court will more than likely approve it. However, when an agreement cannot be reached between parents regarding their children, or parents refuse to create a parenting plan, then a judge will have to intervene and determine the allocation of parental responsibilities according to their discretion.

Regardless of whether there is a parenting plan or not, the judge will make the final decision regarding parental responsibilities. The court will look at many factors before making an allocation judgment, all of which are geared toward a child's best interest.

  • The factors a judge will consider include:
  • The parent's wishes (parenting plan)
  • The child's wishes
  • The mental and physical health of all parties
  • Willingness to co-parent
  • The child's needs
  • History of violence or abuse in the household
  • Other factors a judge chooses to use

Contact a Kendall County, IL Child Custody Attorney

Parental responsibilities are allocated through the court but can be swayed by a proper parenting plan. To ensure you have everything you need on your parenting plan, contact an Oswego, IL parenting plan lawyer. The The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can provide a trustworthy and experienced attorney to review your parenting plan before submitting it to the court. Contact our office by calling 630-409-8184 and setting up an appointment.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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