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How allocation of parental responsibilities works in Illinois

A family court will consider several factors before allocating parental responsibilities after divorce. Key among them is the children’s best interests, which must come first in any decisions affecting them. 

But, what exactly are these interests, and how will they affect your parental responsibilities? Here is what you need to know if there are children involved in your divorce.

Factors that will determine the court’s decision

Allocation of parenting time depends on the unique circumstances of the family. Some of the things an Illinois family court will consider include:

  • The wishes of the child, taking into account their maturity and ability to make independent decisions
  • A preexisting legally binding agreement
  • The child’s needs
  • The parent’s physical and mental health
  • Whether a parent has been abusive towards the children or in the marriage
  • The amount of time each parent spent in giving care to the child before the divorce
  • The ability of each parent to take care of the child
  • The interaction and closeness of the child with the parents
  • The child’s ties to their community or next of kin

The list above is barely exhaustive, and the court may consider any other factors relevant to the children’s well-being before allocating parenting time and responsibilities. In most cases, you will share most parental responsibilities with your co-parent.

You have a right to be involved in your children’s lives

There are some widespread misconceptions when it comes to the allocation of parental responsibilities. For instance, many think that the parent’s gender matters when it comes to determining parental responsibilities. It can’t be further from the truth.

Every parent has an equal right to be involved in their children’s lives unless they are a risk or danger. Therefore, it is worthwhile to reach out for proper representation during such proceedings to protect your parental rights.