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What Caretaking Functions Are Considered in Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Child Custody

dupage county child custody lawyerParents may become involved in child custody disputes during a divorce or the breakup of an unmarried couple. In these situations, making decisions about how parents will share legal custody and divide parenting time can be difficult. When addressing these issues, it is important to understand how the laws in Illinois may affect a case. Even if a couple plans to negotiate a parenting agreement rather than resolving disputes in the courtroom, knowing how the law addresses their situation can help them make the right decisions. One issue that may play a role in these matters is the way parents have handled and expect to continue handling “caretaking functions” for their children.

What Are Caretaking Functions?

Parents will engage in a number of activities as they provide care for their children, ensure that children’s needs are met, and help children grow and develop successfully. Illinois law details a number of these caretaking functions, and it states that parents are responsible for engaging in these functions during their parenting time. When determining how to allocate parenting time between parents, one factor that may be considered is how each parent has been involved in caretaking functions for their children during the two years immediately preceding the initiation of a divorce or child custody case.

Caretaking functions include:

  • Addressing children’s nutritional needs, including preparing and serving meals and ensuring that children get enough to eat and drink

  • Managing bedtime and morning routines, including putting infants or children to bed and helping children get up and get dressed in the mornings

  • Providing care for children who are sick or who have been injured

  • Attending to children’s grooming and hygienic needs, including making sure they receive baths, wash their hands regularly, and brush their teeth, as well as brushing or styling hair and providing haircuts when necessary

  • Playing with children and attending activities at school or outside the home

  • Providing children with transportation to and from school or activities

  • Protecting a child from physical harm

  • Addressing children’s developmental needs, including helping build movement skills such as crawling and walking, language skills, toilet training, general knowledge, and self-confidence

  • Providing discipline when necessary, assigning chores, helping children understand appropriate manners, and ensuring that children can maintain proper behavior and self-restraint

  • Making sure children go to school and attending to other educational needs, including meeting with teachers, communicating with school personnel, and ensuring homework is completed

  • Encouraging children to have positive relationships with friends, siblings, and extended family members

  • Addressing children’s medical needs, including attending appointments with doctors and providing any necessary medical care in the home

  • Providing children with guidance in morals and ethics

  • Arranging alternative care when a parent is unavailable, including making arrangements to have children supervised by extended family members or babysitters, as well as finding child care facilities for when parents are working

Contact Our Oakbrook Terrace Child Custody Attorneys

While parents’ previous level of participation in caretaking functions is one issue that may be considered when making decisions about parenting time and child custody, multiple other factors may play a role in these decisions. To ensure that you are fully prepared to address these issues and reach agreements that will provide for your children’s best interests, you will want to get legal help from a qualified attorney. Farooqi & Husain Law Office can provide you with strong representation during your divorce or family law case, and we will help you protect your parental rights as you make decisions about child custody. Contact our DuPage County parenting time lawyers today at 630-909-9114 to learn more about how we can help with your case.


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