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IL divorce lawyerMany spouses who make the decision to get divorced have minor children from the marriage. When there are minor children from the marriage, parental responsibilities will need to be allocated. There are essentially two different ways of allocating parental responsibilities under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA): either through a parenting plan developed by the parents or through the court’s allocation judgment. In both scenarios, the wishes of the child, or the child’s preference, can be taken into account but typically will not be the sole deciding factor in how parental responsibilities are allocated. Keep in mind that parental responsibilities include both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. We will say more about how a child’s preference can come into play for both types of parental responsibilities.

Allocating Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities and Considering the Child’s Preference

Under the IMDMA, significant decision-making responsibilities are one of two forms of parental responsibilities, previously known in Illinois as child custody. Significant decision-making responsibilities are most similar to what we previously knew as legal custody or the parent’s responsibility for making significant decisions about the child’s upbringing. Generally speaking, significant decision-making responsibilities typically include decisions about the child’s education (including where the child goes to school and who tutors the child), health care issues (including the types of medical, dental, and psychological treatments a child receives, as well as the providers the child sees), and religion (including what the child’s religious upbringing is and where the child receives religious training, education, and community).

Does the child get to have a say in how significant decision-making responsibilities are allocated? The answer to that question depends upon the specific facts of the case, but the IMDMA does allow the child’s wishes to be one consideration. Under the IMDMA, significant decision-making responsibilities are allocated according to what is in the best interests of the child. Whether the parents allocate these responsibilities in a parenting plan or the court does so in an allocation judgment, the “child’s best interests” must be what governs the allocation. In considering the child’s best interests, the IMDMA says that “all relevant factors” should be considered, including:

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 Illinois family lawyerFiling for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace is never an easy decision, but divorces often become more difficult and contentious when there are children from the marriage. In many cases, we work with mothers who want to get divorced and have serious concerns about whether their current husbands will be able to see the children after a divorce. There are numerous reasons to want to prevent your husband from seeing your children after the divorce is finalized.

For example, maybe your husband has indicated a desire to turn your children against you or has made negative remarks about you to your children in the recent past. Or, for instance, perhaps you have concerns about your husband’s ability to provide a nurturing home due to his heavy work schedule and lack of interest in parenting throughout the marriage.

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is a presumption that parents will share in both parental responsibilities and parenting time. We will say more about how these matters are involved in the question of whether you can stop your husband from seeing your children after a divorce, and what factors the court uses to make such decisions.

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Posted on in Parental Rights

Illinois child custody lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyFor Muslim families in the Oakbrook Terrace area, family law issues involving parenthood and the termination of parental rights can be difficult ones to face. Generally speaking, the Illinois courts want to do their best to keep both parents in a child’s life and to ensure that the child has both parents play a role in the child’s life and upbringing as long as it is in the best interests of the child. Yet in some situations, it may be in the best interests of the child to terminate the rights of a parent. What does it mean when the law decides to terminate a parent’s rights? In short, it means that the parent not only will not be responsible financially for the child, but that parent also will not make any decisions about the child’s care or upbringing.

Voluntary Termination and the Adoption Act

It is important to understand that Illinois law does not allow one parent simply to petition to terminate the other parent’s rights. Rather, parental rights can be terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily, and the court takes these cases very seriously. Under 750 ILCS 50/1 and other relevant Illinois law, the voluntary termination of a parent’s rights generally can occur in one of the following circumstances:

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