The language many people use for co-parenting after divorce makes the children involved seem like the possessions of the parents. People often become so focused on the rights of the parents that they completely ignore the impact a custody battle can have on the children in the family.
The Illinois family courts try their best to make children the center in divorce proceedings involving parents. One way they do this is by using different language. Instead of custody, divorcing parents seek a share of “parental rights and responsibilities.”
As a general rule, the parental responsibilities someone will have after divorce involve financial support and being the responsible parent for the children.
Financial and time contributions affect each other
Determining the amount of child support a parent pays is a complicated process. The income of both parents and the needs of the family each play a significant role. However, the amount of parenting time each parent has is also crucial.
The more overnight parenting time one parent has, the lower their financial support obligations become. Spending more time with your children not only helps you develop a better relationship with them but also reduces the financial strain excessive child support payments can cause after a divorce.
You have to ask for your share of parental rights and responsibilities
While the Illinois courts typically try to support both parents during divorce proceedings, you will have to actively ask for parenting time.
If you don’t ask for as much parenting time as possible, you might wind up relegated to weekend visitation with your kids instead of enjoying a nearly equal split of parenting time. Focusing on your preferred outcomes as you plan your divorce with your attorney can help set you up for success.