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Important Decision-Making Responsibilities for Divorced Parents

 Posted on January 13,2021 in Child Custody & Allocation of Parental Responsibility

St. Charles divorce attorney allocation of parental responsibilities

For many years in Illinois, issues regarding children in a divorce were referred to under the umbrella term of “child custody.” However, since 2016, this term is no longer used in state law statutes, with the relevant issues instead identified as “parenting time” and the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Parenting time is fairly straightforward, as it refers to the time that the children will spend living with each parent on a regular basis. However, you may have questions regarding what exactly it means to allocate parental responsibilities between you and your spouse during the divorce process.

What Parental Responsibilities Must Be Allocated in an Illinois Divorce?

Illinois law states that during a parent’s allocated parenting time, he or she has the authority to make “non-significant” decisions related to the child. This encompasses a wide variety of routine decisions and allows a person the freedom to parent without worrying that every action may potentially violate the divorce resolution. However, certain decisions are considered significant and must be addressed directly in a parenting agreement. These significant decisions include those related to:

  • The child’s education, such as where the child will go to school and whether he or she needs a tutor or any other educational support.

  • The child’s health, such as the child’s diet, medical treatment, and anything else related to the child’s physical or mental health needs.

  • The child’s religion provided that there is evidence of the child’s past religious upbringing or an agreement between the parents regarding the importance of the child’s religion.

  • The child’s extracurricular activities, including participation in sports, clubs, cultural events, and other activities.

The allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities can be agreed upon by the parents and submitted to the court for approval, or the court may issue a decision after reviewing both parents’ preferences and other relevant information. It is possible for both parents to share in all important decisions, for one parent to have sole authority regarding significant decision-making, or for different parents to have authority regarding different types of decisions

In any case, the resulting agreement must be in the child’s best interests. In ensuring that this is the case, the court may consider the child’s needs and wishes, his or her adjustment to a current routine including school and extracurricular activities, and the ability of the parents to cooperate in important decision-making.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you have questions regarding the allocation of parental decision-making responsibilities or concerns about your children’s well-being during the divorce process, the reputable St. Charles child custody lawyers at Weiler & Associates, Inc. can help. We will work with you to protect your children’s interests and your own interests as you work toward a satisfying resolution. Call us today at 630-331-9110 to schedule a confidential consultation.


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