Important Child Custody Issues to Consider in Your Divorce
If you are considering divorce in DuPage County and you have minor children from your marriage, you will need to learn more about child custody laws in Illinois. For most members of the Muslim community in DuPage County, the months before and during your divorce will be the first time that you learn about child custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities. To help prepare you for your child custody case, our DuPage County child custody attorneys have a list of important child custody facts that you will likely want to consider as you move forward with your divorce.
1. Illinois Law Now Discusses Child Custody in Terms of “Parental Responsibilities”
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), you will no longer find any reference to child custody awards, or to physical custody and legal custody. Instead, Illinois law now discusses child custody in terms of “parental responsibilities.” Rather than awarding child custody in sole or joint terms to parents, courts now allocate parental responsibilities, with flexibility for different types of family situations.
2. Parental Responsibilities Include Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities and Parenting Time
Parental responsibilities now include significant decision-making responsibilities (similar to legal custody) and parenting time (similar to physical custody and visitation). Parents can share these responsibilities in a variety of ways based on what is in the best interests of the child.
3. Parents Can Work Together to Allocate Parental Responsibilities Themselves with a Parenting Plan
If you can work with your spouse to develop a parenting plan that allocates parental responsibilities, the court can sign off on it as long as it is in the best interests of the child. If parents only agree to significant decision-making responsibilities or only to parenting time, they can still create a parenting plan that allocates those parental responsibilities while leaving the rest to the court.
4. When Parents Cannot Agree to the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, the Court Will Allocate Parental Responsibilities in an Allocation Judgment
When parents cannot agree to the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court will make that decision based on the “best interests of the child” standard. It looks at a wide variety of factors to determine what kind of situation is in a child’s best interests. The court then issues an allocation judgment that clarifies parental responsibilities.
5. Modifications of Parental Responsibilities Can Occur When the Other Parent Agrees or By Petitioning the Court
If you later want to modify how parental responsibilities have been allocated, you generally have one of two options. First, if the other parent agrees to the modification, it is relatively easy to move forward with the modification. However, if the other parent does not agree, you will need to petition the court for a modification. Typically you will need to show that there has been a change in circumstances warranting the modification and that the proposed modification remains in the best interests of the child.
Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
Each case has its own facts and circumstances, and the above information is intended to provide you with general knowledge about child custody laws in Illinois. If you are considering divorce and have questions or concerns about child custody, you should get in touch with an experienced DuPage County child custody attorney as soon as possible. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office online or by phone at 630-909-9114.