When divorcing spouses share children together, the divorce process becomes much more complicated. In addition to financial matters like property division, the couple must also address child-related concerns like child custody and child support. Read on to learn about some of the top questions Illinois parents have about parenting time and what you can do to get personalized legal guidance during your divorce case.
How is Parenting Time Different Than Child Custody?
One of the most complicated parts of the divorce process is navigating the sea of confusing legal terms and language. Illinois law no longer uses the term child custody. Instead, child-related matters are broken down into the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parental responsibilities refer to the parents’ right to make decisions about their child’s education and other important matters. Parenting time is the time that parents spend with their children. The parents will include their parenting time schedule in their parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval.
What Can I Do to Modify Our Parenting Time Order?
Changing work schedules and other issues may require a modification to the parenting time schedule. If you want to modify your parenting time order, you will need to show that there is a substantial change in circumstances and that modification is in the child’s best interests.
When is Restricted Parenting Time?
Parents may be subject to certain restrictions if the court deems it necessary. The court will only impose a restriction if unrestricted parenting time would endanger the child’s physical or mental health. The court may reduce or eliminate parenting time, require parenting time to be supervised, require the parent to complete drug or alcohol treatment, or impose other restrictions.
How is Parenting Time Related to Child Support?
Many people assume that parenting time and child support are related. However, these are two completely separate matters. You cannot withhold a child from a parent just because the parent is behind on child support. On the other hand, a parent may not necessarily be entitled to parenting time because he or she pays child support.
The amount of child support that a parent pays is based on the parents’ net incomes. The amount of parenting time that a parent is assigned does not influence child support. The one exception to this is if the parents each have the child more than 40 percent of the time. In shared parenting arrangements like this, child support may be reduced to account for the relatively equal amount of parenting time each parent is responsible for.
Contact a DuPage Parenting Time Lawyer
If you are getting divorced or you are unmarried and have questions about parenting time, parental responsibilities, or other family law issues, contact Goostree Law Group for help. Our Wheaton family law attorneys can help you understand your options and address your needs.