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The Other Parent Is a Still a Parent

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Custody

parenting time, Illinois law, Arlington Heights family law attorneyFor a number of months, posts on this blog have talked about some of various aspects of Illinois family law that were set to change going into 2016. Some of the bigger changes revolve around the state’s approach to divorce and child custody, with the law being updated to address the evolving needs of today’s families. One seemingly smaller amendment, however, addresses parental visitation and presents parents with a new way of thinking about the idea.

Parental Responsibilities

The changes to the law regarding visitation are part of the larger shift in the philosophy regarding child custody. Divorcing, separating, or unmarried parents will no longer be competing for arrangements like sole or joint custody, or for titles such as custodial parent. Instead, parents are expected to cooperate in developing a plan for sharing parental responsibilities. These include both significant decision-making responsibilities, such as education, medical care, and religious training, as well as everyday life responsibilities, known as caretaking functions.

Visitation for Parents

The law presumes that a parent seeking to actively participate in his or child’s upbringing should be entitled to reasonable time with the child, during which that parent is responsible for non-significant decision-making and appropriate caretaking functions. Where the new law differs from the previous statute, is that, prior to this year, the time with the child was called visitation. This tended to imply that the parent was somehow less important, and was only a visitor in the child’s life. Going forward, any time allocated to a parent with his or her child is called parenting time, a direct recognition of the parent’s role.

Parenting time is also available for a parent who is not allocated significant decision-making responsibilities as well. Of course, such time may be limited or restricted if time with that parent would present a danger to the child. Physical, mental, emotional, or moral endangerment are also grounds for revoking or terminating a parent’s right to parenting time. The courts in Illinois are tasked with always keeping the child’s best interest as the top priority.

Speak With a Knowledgeable Lawyer

If you have questions about the new laws as they pertain to child custody and visitation, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, our team understands the challenges you may be facing and are fully prepared to help you achieve the positive outcome you deserve. We offer two convenient office locations so that we are better-equipped to serve you.


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