wheaton child custody lawyerIt is well-documented that getting a divorce can be highly unpleasant for many reasons. When children are involved, the process can turn from spiteful to merciless in an instant. Disagreements between parents sometimes occur when determining parental responsibility arrangements during divorce proceedings. How can conflicts best be dealt with to protect the well-being of the children involved? Most parents want the absolute best for their children. Topics vital to the child’s development, such as educational and healthcare decisions, are likely to have long-lasting ramifications for children. If you are getting divorced and wish to secure the most favorable arrangement for you and your children, consult with a knowledgeable attorney with experience in divorce cases involving parental responsibility allocation. 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Through a Parenting Plan

For years, the term “child custody” was used in Illinois to describe parenting time and decision-making powers in divorce cases. Now, legally speaking, the correct wording is “parental responsibilities.” Under Illinois law, parents who are getting divorced and have minor children are required to complete a comprehensive parenting plan that explicitly states the responsibilities of each parent moving forward. A parenting plan aims to ensure that children’s lives and development are not adversely impacted by their parents getting divorced. Of course, with any divorce, the children are likely to be affected in one way or another. However, a parenting plan is there to help ensure that each parent understands his or her role in the child’s upbringing, the parenting time schedule, and his or her parental rights. When it comes to drafting a parenting plan, specific components must be included. Some of the main components include:

  • Parenting time schedule – This plan shows how the children’s time with each parent will be distributed. This can include what days or weeks will be spent at each parent’s residence. 
  • Allocation of decision-making responsibilities – This crucial section of the plan determines how the parents will decide on their children’s education moving forward, their health and medical needs, religious affiliations, and extracurricular activities. 
  • Communication guidelines – This details the type of communication for children and parents to engage in during the other parent’s scheduled parenting time. 

If parents cannot agree on the parenting plan, the court will make a determination on the unresolved provisions. 

Disagreements about Healthcare Decisions 

Medical issues can be a contentious topic for many divorced parents. For example, one parent may want the child to receive a certain type of mental health treatment, but the other parent finds the treatment unnecessary or even dangerous. When divorced parents disagree about whether a child should receive certain types of medical care, they should check their parenting plan to understand each parent’s authority regarding healthcare decisions. Some parenting plans designate one parent as the sole decision maker. Other plans allow parents to jointly make decisions regarding healthcare and other important child-related matters. If a parent believes that the current parenting plan does not meet the child’s best interests, he or she can petition the court for a modification. The court will evaluate the situation and make a determination that best serves the child. The court may determine that each parent’s decision-making authority remains the same, or the court may reallocate parental responsibilities to better meet the child’s needs. 

Contact a DuPage County Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Attorney 

Divorces can be extremely traumatic for all parties involved, especially children. To ensure you and your children’s best interests are upheld and respected, consider contacting a Wheaton allocation of parental responsibility lawyer with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 today for a private and comprehensive consultation.  




Read More