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Dividing Time, Uniting Families: The Allocation of Parenting Time in Illinois

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Dividing Time, Uniting Families: The Allocation of Parenting Time in Illinois
Published
February 14, 2024
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dpinkston@pinkstonlawgroup.com
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Family law is a complex and sensitive area, especially when it comes to the delicate matter of allocating parenting time following a separation or divorce. In Illinois, the focus is on the best interests of the child, ensuring that they maintain a strong and healthy relationship with both parents. The Pinkston Law Group, P.C., is committed to guiding families through these challenging times with empathy, understanding, and expertise. Here, we delve into the intricacies of how parenting time is determined in Illinois, and how our legal team can support families in uniting through divided times.

Understanding Parenting Time in Illinois

In Illinois, what was formerly known as “custody” and “visitation” has been redefined under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act as “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” This shift in terminology reflects a more modern understanding of parenting roles and emphasizes the child’s need for a substantial relationship with both parents.

The Best Interests of the Child

The cornerstone of allocating parenting time is the best interests of the child. Courts consider several factors when determining how to allocate parenting time, including but not limited to:

  • The wishes of each parent and the child, considering the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned preferences
  • The amount of time each parent has been the primary caretaker of the child
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate to support a relationship with the other parent
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse

These factors help the court create a parenting plan that supports the child’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being while fostering a positive relationship with both parents.

Crafting a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a written agreement that outlines how parents will share parenting time and responsibilities. This plan includes schedules for weekdays, weekends, holidays, and vacations, as well as provisions for transportation, communication with the child, and how future modifications will be addressed.

The goal is to create a comprehensive plan that minimizes conflicts and provides a stable and predictable routine for the child. Parents are encouraged to work together to develop a plan that best meets their child’s needs, but if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will intervene and establish the plan based on the child’s best interests.

How Pinkston Law Group, P.C. Can Help

At Pinkston Law Group, P.C., we understand the emotional and legal complexities involved in allocating parenting time. Our experienced family law attorneys are dedicated to advocating for your rights and the best interests of your children. We can help you:

  • Understand your legal rights and responsibilities
  • Negotiate a fair and practical parenting plan
  • Represent you in court, if necessary
  • Modify existing parenting time agreements as circumstances change

A Call to Action

Navigating the allocation of parenting time is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. The dedicated team at Pinkston Law Group, P.C., is here to support and guide you through every step of the process. Whether you’re in the midst of determining parenting time or need assistance with modifying an existing agreement, our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are ready to help.

Uniting your family through divided times is our priority. Contact Pinkston Law Group, P.C., today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing a positive future for your child and your family. Together, we can create a plan that respects the interests of all parties and, most importantly, serves the best interests of your child.

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