Child custody and visitation issues are a major concern for Naperville parents who are getting a divorce. If both parents cannot come to an agreement and put the well-being of their children first, they may wind up in an emotional and contentious battle in the courts that could hurt the entire family.
Since child custody issues are so sensitive and important, divorcing parents should have the help of an experienced Naperville child custody attorney to make sure they and their children are protected. The seasoned and compassionate Naperville child custody lawyers at Wolfe & Stec Ltd., understand the stresses that divorce and custody disputes bring. We recognize that while the children’s well-being is paramount, the needs of the parents count as well. We offer a free initial consultation to examine your individual situation and help you understand your specific child custody options.
Contact us online or call our office today to set up your free consultation.
Custody law changes in Illinois have updated the concept of and terminology concerning child custody and parental visitation. In 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act removed the terms “custody” and “visitation” and substituted the terms “parenting time” and “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Instead of talking about sole and joint custody, there is now a more child-centered approach focusing upon the best interests of the child. The goal is to encourage parents to have a healthy and safe relationship with each other, reduce disputes over who is the “custodial parent,” and eliminate making one a winner and the other a loser. Parental responsibility and time arrangements should be made so children’s lives are disrupted as little as possible as far as school schedules, activities and friendships are concerned, depending upon the specific family circumstances.
The law requires parents to come up with a written parenting plan. Parenting plans identify which days of the year each parent will be responsible for physical custody of the children, how children will spend birthdays and other holidays, transportation arrangements, when supervision is required, and other considerations.
In addition, plans should lay out which parent will have responsibility for making decisions in the major areas of the children’s lives, including:
One parent may still have most of the decision-making responsibilities, or these responsibilities may be decided jointly or split between the parents. Parents who have not been granted significant decision-making will still be entitled to reasonable parenting time with the child.
If parents cannot agree on a plan, they will be required to mediate their differences. If, after mediation, the parents still can’t agree, the court will decide how parenting time and responsibility will be divided in a trial that results in an “allocation judgment” that creates a parenting plan based on the best interests of the children.
The courts consider that it is typically in the child’s best interest to have a continuity of relationship with both parents, but that the needs of children change as they mature. In setting up the allocation of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities the following factors are considered:
Since custody issues are so complex and vital to a child’s well-being, it makes sense for divorcing parents in Naperville to seek legal counsel for help with any parenting-time and responsibility issues. The skilled child custody attorneys in Naperville at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know the laws and the system and can guide you through the process. We represent and advise clients in all types of child custody matters.
Don’t delay. For a free initial consultation with an experienced and compassionate Naperville child custody lawyer, contact us online or call our offices today.