Pesce Law Group, P.C.


Naperville | Oak Brook | Burr Ridge | Lake Forest | St. Charles

What Are My Parental Responsibilities in Illinois?

 Posted on May 20, 2024 in Child Custody

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerEvery parent, whether married or divorced, has certain responsibilities to his or her child under Illinois law. These parental responsibilities are divided into two categories:

  • Parenting time

  • Decision making

Fulfilling your parental responsibilities during marriage, when everyone lives together and has access to the same resources, can be hard enough. After divorce, however, this task often becomes more difficult. 

Because carrying out parental responsibilities after divorce is straining for so many parents, there are resources that can help. Contact an Illinois family lawyer to find out what responsibilities are expected of you and the tools available to assist you.

What is Parenting Time?

Parenting time, also known as physical custody, is the time during which a child is under his or her parent’s care. When parents get divorced, they are required to submit to the court a parenting plan that contains details about how they plan to manage their parenting time. Such details include:

  • Parenting time schedules

  • Locations of the parents and the child’s school

  • Transportation arrangements for the child

  • Which parent has the majority of parenting time

  • How each parent will communicate with the child during the other parent’s parenting time

  • How each parent will notify the other of emergencies or changes in plans

  • Provisions for the right of first refusal, which is the right of a parent to take custody of the child if the other parent becomes unavailable

  • Allocation of decision-making responsibilities

If both parents can agree on the above, they submit a joint parenting plan to the court. The court will usually make the plan binding and enforceable if it is healthy for the child. 

Otherwise, each parent must submit his or her own parenting plan to the court. The judge, after looking at many factors, will generate a legally binding plan for the parents.

What Are Decision-Making Responsibilities?

The parenting plan includes details about how decision-making responsibilities will be divided between the parents. These include:

  • Medical decisions: Parents regularly need to make decisions about their children’s physical and mental health, but this is easier said than done. Some parents, for example, place a heavy emphasis on nutrition and natural medicine, while other parents place great stock in modern medicine and pharmaceuticals. 

  • Educational decisions: Parents are obligated to pay for their children’s education but sometimes do not agree on what that education should be. Some parents prefer private schooling, for example, while other parents prefer religious schooling. Also included in education are extra-curricular activities, which can take many forms.

  • Religious upbringing: Parents should know how they plan to raise their child in a given faith, if applicable. This can be a complicated task not only in interfaith marriages but also if the parents are members of different sects within the same religion.

Contact a Naperville, IL Family Lawyer

Even once you know your parental responsibilities, it can be difficult to manage them with your co-parent. An experienced DuPage County family law attorney, however, can help simplify the complications surrounding your parental responsibilities. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we excel at helping our clients gain clarity about these responsibilities and we provide them with the resources they need to meet them. Call 630-352-2240 for top-tier legal service and a free consultation today.

Share this post:
Back to Top