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


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

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FAQs About Parenting Time and Responsibilities in Illinois

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Among all of the things that you must take care of when you are going through a divorce is your children. In Illinois, you are required to create a parenting plan that outlines parenting time, parental responsibilities, where the child spends certain holidays and when the child will be moving between homes. Illinois courts prefer you and your ex-spouse to come to an agreement before you go to court, but in the event that you cannot, the court will decide your parenting plan in a proceeding.

This realm of divorce can be confusing because Illinois has adopted the terms “parenting time” in place of “physical custody” and “parental responsibilities” in place of “legal custody.” Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about parenting plans in Illinois:

How Is Parenting Time Determined?

In Illinois, parenting time is urged to be decided by the parents of the child, but if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will intervene and make decisions about parenting time that are in the child’s best interest. The court will examine a variety of factors when making a determination, including:

  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s age and maturity;
  • The relationship between the child and each parent;
  • The amount of time each parent has spent performing caretaking functions for the child;
  • The child’s needs; and
  • The ability and willingness of each parent to facilitate and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent.

How Are Parental Decision-Making Responsibilities Determined?

The court will decide which parent gets which decision-making responsibilities in accordance with the child’s best interests, but nothing guarantees that either parent will get any decision-making responsibilities. Decision-making responsibilities include:

  • Education;
  • Healthcare;
  • Religion; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

The court will look at a number of different factors when deciding how decision-making responsibilities will be allocated. These factors are very similar to the factors used when determining parenting time.

Will the Court Restrict or Revoke Parenting Time or Responsibilities from a Parent?

It is presumed that both parents are adequate and fit to be parents. Parenting time or decision-making responsibilities will not be restricted unless the court finds that allowing the parents access to these privileges would result in endangerment of the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

Consult with a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you have gone through a divorce, you know how stressful it can be when making decisions about your children. Illinois courts recognize that children do best when both parents are in the picture, but also have certain guidelines to follow to ensure that both parents in the child’s life is what is best for the child. A skilled Aurora, IL family lawyer can help you build a parenting plan that fits your families needs. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. is here to answer any questions you might have about parenting plans, parenting time or parental responsibilities. To begin discussing your situation, call the office at 630-409-8184.


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


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

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