When going through a divorce, one of your most significant worries might be about acquiring custody rights or visitation time. Illinois now uses the term parental responsibility when referring to child custody and visitation rights. While a judge is deciding which responsibilities each parent should get, they look at a variety of issues to determine what is best for the child.

How will the judge decide parental responsibilities?

Most states, including Illinois, allocate parental responsibilities based on the best interests of the child. The judge uses many factors to make this determination, including:

  • Who the child wants to live with
  • How the child will adjust to a new school
  • The proximity of both parents’ homes
  • The willingness of both parents to collaborate
  • Any criminal history either parent has
  • Any prior agreement made by the parents

The judge will also consider the age of the child. The child’s age will help the judge determine how much control the child should have over the court’s decision.

What responsibilities can the judge assign?

While you and your ex-spouse are finalizing your divorce, either of you may petition the court to receive parental responsibilities. The judge will also pick one parent to be the primary caregiver and will create a schedule showing when the child will be with the non-custodial parent.

If either parent refuses to follow the responsibilities handed down by the judge, they will be held in contempt and receive legal penalties depending on the severity of their infraction.

Going through this process can be emotionally and mentally draining. Having the help of a seasoned family law attorney could help you receive the parental responsibilities you are fighting for.