What are Parental Responsibilities?
In a divorce case that involves a child or children, or in a parentage case, the Court allocates parental responsibilities between the parents. Parental responsibilities include 1) significant decision-making responsibilities and 2) parenting time with respect to a child or children.
Significant decisions are those decisions that are of long-term importance in the life of a child. These decisions include a child’s education, including the choice of schools and tutors, health, including all decisions relating to the child’s medical, dental, and psychological needs, religion, and extracurricular activities. 750 ILCS 5/600.
The ability to make decisions in a child’s life is allocated between the parties by agreement of the parties or by the Judge. Parties can agree to make these significant decisions jointly (joint decision-making) or the parties can agree that one party will make all the decisions for the benefit of the child (sole decision-making.) Or, in other cases, the parties may agree that some decisions will be made jointly between the parties and some decisions will be made solely by one of the parties. In cases that proceed to a trial, the Judge will decide who makes decisions for the child or children.
A parenting time schedule is a schedule that allocates time with the children between the parties. For example, Party A may have parenting time beginning on Monday and ending Wednesday delivery at school. Party B may have parenting time beginning Wednesday after school until Friday after school. Thereafter, the parties may alternate weekend parenting time. A parenting time schedule can be agreed upon by the parties or, in cases that proceed to a trial, the Judge will decide a parenting time schedule for the parties.
Please contact the Family Law attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. at 815-455-3000 to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss your family law needs.