Kane County Child Custody, Visitation & Allocation of Parental Responsibility Lawyers
Attorneys for Custody and Visitation Matters in Elgin
Our experienced divorce and family law lawyers at Doyen Law Group, LLC know that child custody is a frequently a hotly contested issue during a divorce. If custody and visitation problems are still not resolved after mediation and evaluation, the matter will then proceed to trial. We work hard to advise our clients about the process and educate them about their options. Our child custody attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable about the law in relation to child custody, visitation and all issues within family law.
Some Child Custody and Visitation Terms & Phrases
There are many phrases and terms used to describe child custody agreements and arrangements.
Clients come to us with questions about:
- Custodial parent
- Joint custody
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Residential parent
- Shared custody
- Shared parenting
- Sole custody
- Split custody
We explain and inform our clients about the meanings and the pros and cons of each of various child custody and visitation possibilities. If you have questions about your child custody and visitation case, please contact Doyen Law Group, LLC to discuss the specifics and details of your case. Questions are common about the amount of time the child or children will spend with each parent. In addition, visitation agreements, and parenting time schedules need to be established. Depending on the circumstances, the role of grandparents, and / or grandparent visitation rights may be considered as well. When one parent may pose a danger or threat to the child or children, then supervised visitation may be needed. Our attorneys will help and assist in implementing these requirements into the parenting plan depending on the specific needs of your case.
We can help you understand
- The basics of child custody & visitation
- Determination of child custody & visitation
- Modifications of child custody & visitation
You can also learn more about child custody, visitation and allocation of parental responsibilities – here.
Illinois Child Custody (Allocation of Parental Responsibility)
Although the term “custody” is still commonly used, Illinois law now refers to the allocation of parental responsibilities. The core issues decided by the court are the same as those most people think of as custody issues, but the new terminology better reflects the parent-child relationship and the goals of the court’s order. In particular, the term “parental responsibilities” highlights the fact that custody and visitation are not rights of the parent, but obligations to the child.
As always, the court’s determination is based on the best interests of the children.
Allocation of Parenting Time
The allocation of parenting time addresses what was once known as “physical custody” and “visitation”—in short, when the children spend time in the care of each parent.
While the court may consider a wide variety of factors in determining the best interests of the children, the law sets forth certain relevant considerations, including:
- The wishes of the parent
- The wishes of the child (taking maturity into account)
- Any relevant mental or physical health issues
- The ability (or inability) of the parents to cooperate and coordinate with each other
- Distance and transportation issues
- The willingness and ability of each parent to put the child first
- The caretaking responsibilities of each parent prior to the separation
- The relationship of the child with each parent and with any siblings
Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibility
Allocation of decision-making responsibility is the court’s determination as to which parent has the authority to make decisions about core issues in the children’s lives, such as:
- Educational decisions
- Health-related decisions
- Religious education or observance
This responsibility may be allocated to one parent, or may be shared by the parents. In cases where major decision-making authority is allocated to one parent, the other parent will retain the authority to make day-to-day decisions during his or her parenting time. The parent who does not have major decision-making responsibility also has the authority to make health and welfare decisions, including emergency medical care, when the children are in his or her care.
The standard for allocation of decision-making power is also the best interests of the children, and the court again has the authority to consider any relevant factor. Some factors explicitly listed in the statute include:
- The wishes of both the children and the parents
- Mental and physical health of the parties and the children
- The ability of the parents to cooperate in making decisions for the good of the children
- Any physical abuse against the child or another member of the household
Practical considerations such as distance and transportation will also be taken into account.
In determining both allocation of parenting time and allocation of significant decision-making authority, the court will not consider actions of either parent that do not affect his or her relationship with the child.
Child Custody Can be Complicated – Get the Help You Need
Few things in life are as important as your relationship with your children and their welfare. Having a court making determinations about the future of your family can be unsettling and intimidating. Hiring the right custody lawyer can take the pressure off. We’ll explain exactly what you can expect, negotiate with your spouse’s attorney, and work with you to assemble the best evidence and choose the most powerful witnesses if a contested hearing is required.
You don’t have to face this alone. Pick up the phone right now and schedule a consultation.
Making Changes to the Custody Order
In the interest of stability, a court will not alter existing allocations of parental responsibility lightly. However, there are times when a modification is required. For example, one parent may become ill and unable to maintain the existing schedule. Other circumstances that may provide grounds for modification include relocation of one parent, a change in work hours. In some cases, the conduct of the parent or the child may be the trigger, though this would generally require a serious problem like drug abuse, violence or delinquency.
If you need help modifying your existing custody and visitation order, or if the current arrangement isn’t working and you’re not sure what your options are, schedule a consultation to learn more.
Child support goes hand in hand with allocation of parental responsibility. In Illinois, child support typically continues until the child reaches 18 years of age. However, child support continues until age 19 if the child is still in high school.
Although the court may deviate from the guidelines if it would be in the best interests of the children, the minimum level of support is typically:
20% of net income for one child
28% of net income for two children
32% of net income for three children
40% of net income for four children
45% of net income for five children
50% of net income for six or more children
In practice, courts tend to apply the guideline amounts. However, the calculation may vary depending upon the amount of parenting time allocated to each child, and the court may also take into account factors such as special needs of either parent or the child, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended, and the resources available to each party.
Separating one household into two requires some financial adjustment, and establishing the “new normal” can be stressful. Knowing what to expect in advance can ease transition, and having the right advocate on your side can mean better financial support for your new life. Call us today to find out how we can help.
For skilled and compassionate representation, contact the experienced child custody, visitation and allocation of parental responsibility lawyers at Doyen Law Group, LLC .