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What Does Parental Responsibility Mean in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights allocation of parental responsibilities attorneyWhen people get divorced, they are forced to make decisions about splitting the life they built together. In most situations, this will include assets and finances. When a couple has children, this affects the above variables, but also creates new challenges during the proceedings. In most cases, an Illinois judge will keep both divorcing parents in a child’s life, but the care of that child is referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities and will be organized through a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is an organizational system used by divorced adults with children. The plan allocates parental responsibility and parenting time, which have replaced the terms custody and visitation in Illinois law. These terms mean different things, but they do have overlap. Parenting time is quality time spent with a child. It may be playing their favorite game, providing basic necessities, and disciplining them. Having parental responsibility has more to do with decisions that affect a child's future or well-being. A parent who has parental responsibility will have parenting time. However, there may be cases in which a parent is allocated parenting time but does not have any decision-making responsibility for children. 

Parental responsibility involves making decisions about the following areas, and each of these areas may be shared by parents or allocated solely to one parent:

  • Healthcare: It is a parent’s right to decide how his or her child is medically treated. If a doctor makes a diagnosis, a parent can accept treatment or get a second opinion. Healthcare responsibility includes being able to choose a doctor, hospital, or treatment plan for a child. 
  • Education: Education is a big part of every child’s life, and it is often a factor in his or her success. Parents with this type of responsibility may choose where a child goes to school, and they are expected to be involved in the educational process.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Most kids benefit from activities such as sports, musical lessons, dance, or gymnastics. Finding something a child is good at can boost his or her self-esteem. A parent with this type of responsibility can approve or deny a child’s involvement in these activities as he or she sees fit. 
  • Religion: Religion is an important bond for many families. A parent with this type of responsibility is able to decide when and where a child will attend religious activities or receive religious training.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Lawyer

A parenting plan will be your family’s guide regarding child-related issues for years to come. To make sure everyone gets a fair role in the raising of a child, it is important to understand your rights as a parent. That is why you need to speak to an experienced Palatine parenting plan attorney who can assist you with obtaining the best possible outcome. Call our office today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.





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