Understanding Parenting Time under Illinois Family Law
Divorce proceedings are challenging and unnerving for the entire family. Children are particularly prone to anxiety, depression and stress when their parents decide to file for divorce. Without a doubt, child custody is the most difficult part of any divorce process. Both parents and the children undergo several stressful days before an agreement of equal parenting time is reached.
If you are a resident of Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act appreciates the notion a child is better cared for when both parents are involved in upbringing and decision making.
Parenting time in Illinois is usually determined by a judge who considers what is in the best interest of the child. Depending on the parenting time allotted, a judge has the authority to set up a schedule or allow the parents to come up with their own schedule. The parenting time is particularly essential for a parent who is not entitled to make important decisions for the child. Some of the main factors a judge will consider before suggesting equal parenting time are:
- The judge will inquire the child about their preferences and the amount of time they wish to spend with each parent.
- How the child adjusts and responds to the new living conditions
- Mental and physical health of both parents and the child
- The willfulness of parents to cooperate with each other
- The interest and willingness of each parent to encourage a healthy relationship between the other parent and the child.
- The level of participation of each parent in the child’s life and the authority to make decisions about the child’s future.
How to Set up a Schedule for Parenting Time
If you are confused about how to set up the right schedule in consideration with parenting time, then consultation from an experienced divorce attorney is essential. The attorney will help you understand the different aspects of the Illinois family and divorce law. The key to creating the right parenting schedule is to talk to each other about it in the presence of an attorney. Some of the options for the right parenting schedule are:
- Choosing to share parenting time every other day.
- Spending a full week together while taking the following week off.
- The primary parent might choose to take alternate weekends with the kids.
- The secondary parent, or the non-decision making parent, can choose to take the kids out for dinner during the week, after discussing it with the primary parent.
This list is just a small summary of how both parents can share quality time with their kids after a divorce. The scenarios and instances may vary depending on each couple and their divorce case. It’s important to remember that the older the child gets, the more activities they have which can disrupt a preplanned parenting schedule.
If you have recently filed for child custody and you have questions about parenting time then contact an experienced attorney from Ceasario and Walker today. Give us a call at 630-920-8800 and get your initial consultation free of charge.