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Important Things to Know About Parenting Time in Illinois

Posted on in Visitation

dupage county parenting time lawyerIn Illinois, parents have many important issues to resolve during the divorce process, not the least of which is creating a parenting time schedule. Decisions about parenting time will affect the daily lives of both parents and children, so it is important to reach an agreement that meets everyone’s needs and allows for positive parent-child relationships and effective co-parenting. 

Understanding some of the basics of parenting time can help you approach this issue in your divorce.

Parenting Time Replaced the Concept of Visitation

Before 2016, Illinois family courts would often grant one parent primary physical custody and the other parent visitation. However, the state legislature recognized that this language tended to favor one parent unnecessarily. It was not reflective of the degree of involvement that most parents have in raising their children during a marriage and after a divorce. As a result, the term “visitation” is no longer used, and both parents are instead allocated a share of parenting time.

Parenting Time Includes More Than Just a Weekly Schedule

A significant part of parenting time is the schedule outlining when the children will stay with each parent. However, parenting time is about more than just location. During allocated parenting time, a parent is also responsible for carrying out essential caretaking functions and making routine and emergency decisions. Parenting time agreements can also address transportation between homes and the allocation of special occasions like holidays and school breaks.

Parenting Time May Not Be Split 50/50 

In most cases, the court will prefer to allocate meaningful time to both parents, but an equal arrangement is not always possible. Due to factors like work and school schedules, the location of each parent’s homes, and other needs and preferences of the children, the best arrangement for the children may involve slightly or significantly more parenting time for one parent.

Parenting Time Can Be Restricted

One exception to the court’s preference for allocating substantial time to both parents is a situation in which a parent has put their child’s life, health, or well-being in danger. In such cases, the court can limit or eliminate parenting time, impose conditions on parenting time such as required supervision or treatment, or prohibit certain activities during parenting time.

Parenting Time Can Be Modified

Figuring out an effective parenting time arrangement during your divorce is important, but you do not need to stress about a perfect schedule that will account for all possible life changes in the future. If circumstances change, or you and your former spouse decide that the parenting agreement needs updating, you can petition the court for a modification of the agreement that better meets your needs.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

If you want to learn more about parenting time and how it applies to your divorce case, the attorneys at Davi Law Group can help. With our knowledge and experience, we can advise you on a parenting plan that accounts for the needs of both you and your children. For a free consultation, call our Wheaton family law attorneys at 630-580-6373.




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