Negotiating who gets to spend time with the children on a continuous schedule can be a very stressful time for either parent. Determining who gets the children on birthdays, holidays, and special events can be taxing. While arrangements need to be made in advance in order to provide stability for the children, it is possible to ensure that both parties receive adequate parenting time with the children.
What if we cannot come to an agreement on parental responsibilities and parenting time?
If you have tried and failed in coming to a suitable arrangement for the children, you can make a request with an Illinois Court, and a Judge will determine the responsibilities of both parties.
The Judge will make arrangements based on the following:
- The best interests of the children
- The education of the children
- The healthcare of the children
- Extracurricular activities of the children
While these are only a few of the factors, the best interests of the children are of the utmost importance in any custody case.
The Best Interests of the children
In determining what the best interests of the children are, each case will be context-specific, and a Judge will consider the unique circumstances of each child. For instance, some children have special needs (mental, physical, etc) and some children may want to stay with one parent over the other.
In determining what the best interests of the children are, a Judge would likely consider the following:
- The mental and physical capability of either parent to take care of the children
- The best wishes of the children
- The child’s needs, as stated above
- The distance between either parent’s home and the childrens’ school
- The childrens’ adjustment to their home, school, and community
How does the court determine “Parenting time?”
A judge will determine parenting time depending on the childrens’ school schedules, extra-curricular activities, and other needs.
A judge will also consider how much time either parent spent with the children in the previous two years before the custody case was filed. If the child/children is younger than the age of two, a Judge will consider the amount of time based on the child/childrens’ birth date.
Even if you cannot agree with your partner, it is best to start off with a proposed plan for parenting time, so that the Judge can better understand your intentions. For instance, if your plan is to have the children for Christmas and sporting events while you agree to your partner having the children on Thanksgiving, birthdays and spring break, you should note your intent, as it may be possible to come to an agreement with your partner, once other considerations are met.
Our family law attorneys are experienced with child custody issues and would be happy to assist you. Contact us for a free consultation today!