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SB57 Requires Courts to Allocate Parental Responsibilities Between Both Parents

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County child custody attorneys, allocate parental responsibilitiesOn January 1, 2016, Senate Bill 57 (SB57) will bring tremendous changes to various aspects of family law, including child custody and divorce. If you will be facing a child custody decision when SB57 goes into effect, then it is important that you understand how a court will make custody decisions under the new law.

Currently, Illinois law allows courts to award physical and legal custody to one, or both parents. The child will live with the parent awarded custody and the custodial parent will almost exclusively make decisions about the child’s care. The custodial parent is also the parent who will make nearly all decisions about how the child is raised. This will change under SB 57.

Under SB57 courts will allocate parental responsibilities between both parents. Therefore, both parents will share responsibility for making decision about their child’s care and how their child is raised.

Courts will still be able to decide key child custody decisions such as parenting time and which school the child attends. However, the court must make these decisions using the best interest of the child standard. SB57 requires the court to weigh several factors when determining the best interests of the child, which were not previously part of the law. SB57 outlines the factors a court must consider when deciding how to allocate parental responsibilities and the best interests of the child. These factors include: 

  • The child’s wishes and the child’s ability to reason and express independent preferences;
  • The child’s ability to adjust to their new home, school and community;
  • The parents’ and child’s mental and physical health;
  • The parents’ ability to cooperate and make decisions;
  • Parents’ past involvement with the child;
  • Parents’ past decision-making process;
  • The parents’ wishes;
  • The child’s needs;
  • Transportation concerns (eg. distance between parents, schedules);
  • Each parent’s willingness to have a close and continuing relationship;
  • Previous threats of physical violence towards the child;
  • Whether either parent is a sex offender; and
  • Other relevant factors.

Considering these factors will help courts make decisions that are more balanced and leave both parents feeling their needs have been considered in the custody decisions. 

Contact an Attorney

The changes to how child custody decisions are made will have a significant impact on child custody decisions. If you are considering a divorce, or are in the the process of divorcing, and are making child custody decisions, then you should contact the passionate DuPage County child custody attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC. We can will help you evaluate your custody issues and can help you make the best decisions for your family. Please contact us today to discuss your case.


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