dupage county child custody lawyerParents who decide to end their marriage and get a divorce will need to address multiple legal issues. Child custody is one of the most important aspects of a divorce case. However, the laws in Illinois use some terminology that may be unfamiliar to many parents, so it is important to understand exactly what will be addressed in these matters.

Understanding the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the law that governs divorce cases, does not use the term “child custody.” Instead, it refers to the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Parents will need to address two separate types of parental responsibilities: decision-making and parenting time.

Decision-making refers to what is commonly called “legal custody.” It addresses the parents’ rights and responsibilities in making major decisions about their children’s lives. The IMDMA specifies that there are four areas where parents will make decisions regarding their children: education (where children will go to school, whether they will receive tutoring, etc.), religion (whether children will attend church or other religious services and receive religious training), healthcare (what doctors children will see and what types of medical, dental, orthodontic, or mental health treatment they will receive), and extracurricular activities (the sports, music lessons, drama clubs, scouting organizations, or other activities children will participate in outside of school).

In many cases, parents will share equal responsibility for making decisions for their children, and courts often encourage them to cooperate with each other as they determine how children will be raised. However, there may be some situations where one parent will be granted primary or sole responsibility in one or more areas. For example, if the mother had previously been primarily responsible for taking children to doctor’s appointments and providing medical care, she may be given the sole responsibility for handling these issues going forward, even if the parents will be equally sharing other areas of responsibility.

Parenting time, which is sometimes referred to as “physical custody,” addresses when children will live with or spend time with each parent. A parenting time schedule will be created that details the time children will stay with each parent during the school year, during vacations from school, and on holidays or other special occasions. Each parent will be responsible for providing the necessary childcare during their periods of parenting time, and they will have the right to make decisions about how best to meet their children’s immediate needs.

Contact Our DuPage County Child Custody Lawyers

At Calabrese Associates, P.C., our attorneys can provide you with representation during your divorce and help you protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests when addressing child custody issues. We will work with you to create a parenting plan that will meet your family’s needs and ensure that you can continue to be the parent your children need and deserve. Contact our Naperville family law attorneys and schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.




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