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What You Should Know About Parental Responsibilities

 Posted on April 21, 2017 in Child Custody

DuPage County family law attorneyThroughout the years and perhaps due to the change in family dynamics in our country, Illinois laws regarding child custody and visitation schedules have undergone significant changes. No longer are we in the age of the clear-cut, laid out in black-and-white model of parenting arrangements. Legislators have realized that there is no one-size-fits-all type of custody order. Instead of joint custody or sole custody arrangements, Illinois now uses a more fluid allocation of parental responsibilities. Although transitions such as these are beneficial because they allow the courts to mold a solution suitable for each family, terms become increasingly blurred and challenging for someone unfamiliar with this area of the law. It is not uncommon for questions to arise when determining the best outcome for each child.

The Best Interest of the Child

In every case, courts in Illinois focus on the best interest of the child—even if that is against the guardian's preferences. A judge will take into consideration if someone is unwilling to care for the child, as well as those who do prefer to look after the child. Other factors, however, factors play into consideration. Under Illinois law, at least 15 factors influence the determination of parental control, including:

  • The child’s wishes and needs;
  • The child’s adjustment to the home, school, and surrounding community;
  • The mental and physical health of all parties;
  • The relationship of the parents (i.e. contentious, cooperative, etc.);
  • The history each parent has in decision making for the child;
  • Parental wishes;
  • Potential restrictions on decision-making capabilities;
  • Abuse; and
  • Sex offender registrant status.

Parental Responsibilities

Regardless of which parent has physical custody of the child in question, there is a separate matter of who has the decision-making capabilities. There is no legal obligation stating that both parents have an equal right to decide on the upbringing of the child. For instance, a judge may determine that the mother can make a decision regarding education whereas the father makes the decision about religion. The major areas in which a judge determines who controls the decision making include:

  • Education;
  • Health;
  • Religion; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

Have Your Questions Answered

It is natural to have questions with regards to the future of your children, especially during a tumultuous time such as divorce. A simple internet search may turn up a significant amount of data. However, the only way to be sure that the information you receive applies to your city as well as that the law is up to date is to consult with an attorney. If you would like to have your questions answered during a free consultation with a Naperville family law attorney, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. today by calling 630-352-2240.


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