There are many steps that can potentially contribute to and complicate the divorce process. Custody, for example, can be one of the most difficult and emotional family law issues that comes up in a divorce.
The state of Illinois looks at a variety of factors when considering shared parenting time in the divorce process.
Our team at Diamond Divorce Law has over 40 years of experience advocating for families in the divorce process, and we’re here to walk you through the basis of shared parenting time in Illinois. Keep reading to learn more about shared parenting time and where to start.
What is a parenting agreement in Illinois family law?
It’s important to know that Illinois courts no longer use the word “custody” in divorce and family law. They look at “shared parental responsibilities,” which are broken into two categories: decision-making and parenting time.
Both of these will be outlined in your parenting agreement. The document can also be called a parenting plan, and it details for both parents the responsibilities and expectations surrounding the child.
In addition to decision-making and parenting time responsibilities, the parenting agreement may cover:
- Living arrangements
- Processes for resolving disputes in parenting issues
- Process for changing the parenting agreement if needed
- And more
What is included in the parental decision-making process?
The parenting agreement will allocate who makes decisions on the child’s lifestyle choices and activities.
Illinois law defines the following as decision-making responsibilities:
- Extracurricular activities
What is parenting time in Illinois?
In addition to decision-making, the state of Illinois also considers parenting time as part of the shared parental responsibilities.
Parenting time, previously known as “visitation,” refers to the time spent with one parent or the other.
When it comes to parenting time, the parenting agreement should outline the following:
- Residential schedule, including weekday and weekend time
- Holiday schedule
- Summer schedule
- Vacation time with children
“Shared” parenting time means the non-primary parent exercises at least 146 overnights with the child(ren) within a year. It may be ordered when both parties are able to co-parent without issue(s).
Shared parenting time also decreases an obligor’s child support obligation. So does an obligor having children of another relationship.
How does the Illinois court determine the joint parenting schedule?
The Illinois Court considers a child’s “best interest” when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time.
In the case of parenting time, the courts are likely to take into consideration the last 24 months, and which parent assumed which caretaking functions.
They are also likely to consider the parents’ ability to co-parent, their relationships with the child(ren) at hand, and their relationships with any other children they might have.
What are some joint parenting schedules in Illinois?
Some families think a 50/50 parenting schedule is best for the parents and children. In this situation, the children spend 50% of their time with each spouse.
However, that is not always the perfect arrangement for every family. As you may know, parents have to divide up weekends and holidays, so it can be hard to strike the perfect 50/50 balance.
Some additional parenting schedules include a variety of 2 weeks schedules, which can help families get closer to 50% between each parent, and allows children to spend time with both parents on weekends and weekdays.
Kids could also switch between both parents’ houses from week-to-week, or they could spend the weekdays with one parent and weekends with another. Kids could even spend every other weekend with one parent, while the other has the majority of the parenting time. These are variations that are far from 50/50 schedules.
Contact Diamond Divorce Law McHenry, IL Divorce Attorneys
The divorce and custody process can seem complicated or overwhelming, and we understand there can be many emotions tied into the process too. However, you don’t have to take on the process alone.
At Diamond Divorce Law, our trusted team works with Illinois families to smoothly tackle the divorce and custody processes, and to achieve an end result in your family’s best interest.
Contact us today to schedule your free, initial consultation.
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, we urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.