Common Questions About Parental Responsibilities
At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have years of experience representing parents in the DuPage County Muslim community in a wide variety of divorce and family law matters. We often speak with parents who have questions about child custody, known as “parental responsibilities” under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The following are some of the common questions we receive, along with answers that can help you to gain a better understanding of child custody in Illinois. If you plan to move forward with a divorce in which parental responsibilities will need to be allocated, you should seek advice from a DuPage County family lawyer.
What Are the Different Types of Parental Responsibilities?
There are two different types of parental responsibilities under the IMDMA: significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. The language in the IMDMA changed in the recent past, incorporating these forms of parental responsibilities instead of legal and physical custody. You can think about significant decision-making responsibilities like legal custody (when a parent has the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life and upbringing), and you can think about parenting time like physical custody or visitation (when the child spends time with the parent and the parent provides caretaking functions).
Do Parents Have a Say in the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?
Parents can have a say in the allocation of parental responsibilities if they are able to work together to develop a parenting plan in which they allocate parental responsibilities. A family lawyer in DuPage County can help with this process. As long as parents allocate parental responsibilities in a parenting plan based on the child’s best interests, the court can approve the plan, and it can have the same legal force as an allocation judgment. However, if the parents cannot agree, then the court will allocate parental responsibilities, and the parents will play much less of a role in determining how significant decision-making responsibilities are parenting time are allocated and shared.
Will the Court Use the Same Factors to Allocate Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities and Parenting Time?
The court always allocates both types of parental responsibilities based on the best interests of the child. Many of the factors are the same—indeed, there is much overlap—with only a handful of differences. For example, in allocating significant decision-making responsibilities, one of the factors the court can consider is each parent’s participation in past significant decision-making concerning the child. This factor is not used in allocating parenting time. Similarly, in allocating parenting time, one of the factors the court can consider is the amount of time that each parent has spent performing caretaking functions for the child over the last two years. This factor is not usually relevant in allocating significant decision-making responsibilities.
Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Family Lawyer
Going through a divorce with minor children from your marriage can be extremely difficult. You should know that one of the experienced Oakbrook Terrace family law attorneys at our firm can help with any child custody questions you have. We have been serving the Muslim community of DuPage County for years, and we can speak with you today. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today online or call our firm at 630-909-9114 for help with your child custody case.