Call Us630-331-9110

2445 Dean Street, Suite G, St. Charles, IL 60175

I Want More Parenting Time. Does My Child Have to Agree?

 Posted on April 08,2024 in Child Custody & Allocation of Parental Responsibility

St. Charles, Il child custody lawyerThere are two types of child custody: one is legal custody, which involves making major life decisions for the child such as schooling or religious upbringing. In Illinois, legal custody is called “parental responsibilities.” The second is physical custody, which is when the child is under the parent’s physical care. Illinois law refers to this as “parenting time.”

Parents who get divorced are required to develop a parenting plan that outlines how much parenting time each of them will have with the child. If parents cannot agree on these terms, a judge may decide for them. Many factors will be scrutinized, and the court may take the child’s wishes into account. It is important to involve a qualified child custody lawyer from the start to make sure the process is being followed correctly.

How Does a Court Decide Who Gets More Parenting Time?

A court’s objective when deciding who gets more parenting time is to serve the best interests of the child. A judge will therefore look at many elements, such as:

  • Each parent’s relationship with the child

  • The amount of time each parent spent taking care of the child in the two years before the petition was filed

  • The physical and mental health of all parties

  • The willingness of each parent to place the child’s needs above his or her own

  • The child’s relationship to his or her community, school, and home

  • The needs of the child

  • Any instances of abuse

  • The wishes of the child

Both parents get equal parenting time by default, but variables in the above factors can swing more time towards one parent or the other.

So the Court Cares What the Child Wants?

The court cares about the child’s wishes when it comes to parenting time, but only up to a point. Illinois law requires the court to take into account not only what the child wants, but also “the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to parenting time.”

The law is vague, which leaves it up to the court to decide how much weight to give a child’s words. If the child is a high-achieving teen with a healthy social life and scholarship offers, a judge may pay more attention to his or her preference. But if the child is a 10-year-old who prefers one parent because that parent does not enforce any curfew or house rules, a judge is not likely to place much stock in the child’s wishes.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Child Custody Lawyer

There are no guarantees when it comes to child custody, and trying to modify parenting time is an especially difficult legal task. Many factors can impact parenting time, and courts have a lot of discretion when it comes to making modifications. That is why it is important to consult with a Kane County, Illinois child custody attorney who understands what the courts are looking for and the legal process in general. Contact the experienced family lawyers at Weiler & Associates, Inc. by calling 630-331-9110 today.

Share this post:
Best Law Firms Emerging Lawyers Best 10 Avvo Leading lawyers
Back to Top