In Illinois, child custody is now known as parenting time and division of responsibilities. The needs of the children come first and parents must stick to the plan and schedule determined by the court.
The gender of the parent is not considered during the allocation of parenting time and responsibilities. According to Illinois law, both parents are equally important to the lives of their children.
How does the court put the children first?
The court considers the emotional, physical and mental well-being of the children first. If there are issues that make it unsafe or unhealthy for the children to spend time with either parent, such as a history of violence or substance abuse, those issues will influence the parenting time decisions. If a child is old enough to explain their preferences to the court about who they want to spend time with, the court will consider their wishes.
What about the desires of the parents?
The court considers the amount of time each parent wants with their children. The court also looks at the living arrangements, proximity to the children’s school, the children’s schedules and the parents’ work schedules when deciding what will work best.
How are responsibilities divided?
When it comes to granting parents the responsibility to make important decisions for the children such as education, religion and healthcare, those responsibilities will rarely all fall to one parent. For example, a judge may give one parent control of decisions about education, the other parent control of religion and require that they share the responsibility to make joint decisions regarding healthcare.
If parents can work together to amicably agree about parenting time and responsibilities, the court will be more likely to deliver a plan that satisfies everyone involved.