Hinsdale, IL Child custody attorneyIn Illinois, divorcing parents (or ones seeking separation) must create a parenting plan to share responsibilities for raising their child. The court requires the couple to consider living arrangements while distributing parental responsibilities and parenting time centered on the child’s best interests. Understanding the difference between different arrangements can help you make an informed choice. We share an overview of the common types of child custody arrangements below. 

One Parent Has All Parental Responsibilities 

Previously known as sole custody, this arrangement refers to a situation where only one parent has parental responsibilities. That means the right to make life decisions for the child or children under their care. This includes making choices about school, medical care, and religious upbringing. 

In contrast, the other parent has no parental responsibilities in this arrangement. That means they do not have the right to make any major decisions on behalf of the child, even though most of the time, the parent without parental responsibility is still allocated parenting time with the child. This may mean visiting the child during weekends or celebrating some holidays with them, depending on the divorce decree or decree modification. 

Shared Parental Responsibilities, Unequal Parenting Time

The Illinois law prioritizes a child’s needs and well-being while allocating parental responsibilities. The court encourages divorcing parents to remain actively involved in raising their children. 

Previously called joint custody, shared parental responsibilities means both parents make life decisions about a child’s school education, medical care, and religious upbringing. However, parenting time may not necessarily be split equally in this arrangement. 

Equal Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time 

This arrangement means the child will spend equal time in each parent’s house. Divorcing parents must reside close to each other to minimize disruptions in a child’s routine, making it easier for the child to attend school and extracurricular activities.

A 50/50 parenting plan is more complex than other arrangements, especially in a high-conflict divorce. Couples considering this arrangement must be fully committed to handling day-to-day parental responsibilities to provide the child with a stable environment and quality life. 

In any arrangement, each parent can consult a child custody attorney to take the proper steps to modify the parenting plan under certain circumstances. No changes can be made without the approval of a judge. 

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer 


When choosing a parenting arrangement, keeping the child’s best interest in mind is essential. The court also considers the family’s unique circumstances and the parents’ ability to cooperate before allocating parental responsibilities and parenting time. 

A lawyer can provide actionable guidance to assist you during the legal process. Contact our DuPage County child custody attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio by dialing 630-920-8855 to understand the implications of each arrangement.