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Major life decisions and the allocation of parental responsibility

Remaining an active parent is likely the most important consideration in your upcoming Illinois divorce if you share minor children with your spouse. The judge presiding over the dissolution of your marriage will try to be fair in how they allocate parental rights and responsibilities. However, the focus will be on what is best for the kids — not on what you want.

Many parents focus primarily on parenting time when they strategize for child-related court proceedings in a pending divorce. However, time with your children and physical responsibility for their well-being are only two components of parental responsibilities under Illinois law. The right to make decisions about and on behalf of the children is also a crucial responsibility and right for parents that affects the family after divorce.

Parental decisions can affect every aspect of life

Children don’t have the education or life experience necessary to make informed decisions. Left to their own devices, they might undermine their own future health and success, which is why adult guidance is so important.

Parents make educational and medical decisions on behalf of their children every day. They also make decisions related to religion, nutrition and housing that affect a child’s daily life. Responsible decisions focus more on the long-term needs of a child rather than their short-term desires.

It is common for courts to split decision-making authority when they divide other parental responsibilities in a divorce. Asking for authority in specific areas that matter to you, like religious matters, could be a way for you to share these responsibilities while also focusing on what matters the most to you as a parent.