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Arlington Heights Child Custody Attorney

Arlington Heights Child Custody Attorney

In a divorce between parents, child custody is an important issue to work out. Custody refers to the role each parent will have in the child’s life in the years that follow their divorce. Although the term “custody” is used in some states and sometimes colloquially in Illinois, it was actually replaced by the term “parental responsibilities” when the state’s amended child custody law went into effect in 2016.

Despite the change in terminology, the court follows a similar procedure to determine the most appropriate parenting plan for a child following his or her parents’ divorce. It considers a set of factors to work out the arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent;
  • The child’s special medical, physical, or social needs;
  • The child’s access to academic and other resources in each household;
  • The parents’ incomes and financial ability to support the child;
  • Any history of domestic violence in either parent’s household; and
  • If the child is 14 or older, his or her preference may be considered. This cannot be the single factor that determines his or her parenting plan.

Parenting Time

Previously, the time a non-custodial parent spent with his or her child was known as “visitation.” Now, the time each parent spends with the child is known as “parenting time.” The amount of parenting time a child has in each household factors into the child’s child support order.

Parental Responsibilities

Parental responsibilities include more than just parenting time. They are the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf regarding his or her medical care, education, and lifestyle. This can include his or her access to certain extended family members and the child’s religious upbringing. Parents can share parental responsibilities or one parent can hold them solely. In either case, the parents may share parenting time or one parent could have the child full time.

Modifying a Parenting Plan

When an established parenting plan no longer suits a child’s needs, one or both of the parents can modify it. Unless there is a serious risk of harm to the child or a proposed relocation beyond the permitted distance according to the parent’s home county, a parenting plan may only be modified if it has been in effect for at least two years. When parents agree to a modification, they can easily submit their changes to the court and start parenting according to these changes. When one parent does not agree to the other’s proposed change, the parent seeking the change must demonstrate how the proposed new plan is in the child’s best interest.

Work with an Experienced Arlington Heights Child Custody Lawyer

If you have children, their custody after your divorce is likely a hot-button issue for you. To learn more about establishing, enforcing, and modifying a parenting plan in Illinois, contact our team of experienced child custody lawyers at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with us.

Contact Our Illinois Divorce & Custody Law Firm Today

You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at 312-624-7656 to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.

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