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3 Questions About Parenting Time in Illinois Child Custody Cases

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Child Custody

IL parenting lawyerIn July of 2017, new laws went into effect changing the way Illinois courts handle child custody matters. Although the term child custody is still sometimes used informally, the law now describes child custody in terms of parenting time and parental responsibilities. Parenting time is the time that the child is in a parent’s physical custody.

If you are getting divorced or you are unmarried and your relationship is ending, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding parenting time.

How Is Parenting Time Divided Between the Parents?

Illinois parents are encouraged to work out an arrangement for sharing parenting time and formalize their decisions in their Parenting Plan. The court usually upholds Parenting Plans unless there is some aspect of the plan that is not in the child’s best interests. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine an appropriate parenting time schedule for the parents based on factors including but not limited to:

  • Each parent’s preferences
  • The child’s preferences
  • The parents’ past involvement in the child’s life
  • Prior parenting time arrangements between the parents
  • The child’s current adjustment to his school and neighborhood
  • The parties’ mental and physical health
  • Any concerns about child abuse or neglect

Can Parenting Time Be Restricted?

The court may restrict parenting time if doing so is needed to protect the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and moral wellbeing. For example, if there are concerns about a child’s safety with a parent, the court may order parenting time to be supervised by a third party. If the parent has a substance abuse problem, the court can prohibit the parent from consuming substances during parenting time or require the parent to attend drug or alcohol treatment. The court may also limit the amount of time a parent is allowed to spend with a child. In extreme cases, the court may eliminate a parent’s parenting time altogether.

How Does Parenting Time Affect Child Support?

The parent with the majority of the parenting time, formerly known as the custodial parent, receives child support. The parent with less parenting time is the obligor or payor. Usually, the amount of parenting time a parent has is not factored into child support calculations. Child support obligations are based on both parents’ net incomes. However, there is one major exception. If the parents each have the child more than 40 percent of the time, parenting time can affect how much child support a parent pays.

Contact a Wheaton Parenting Time Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about parenting time, parental responsibilities, child support, or other child-related matters, contact our DuPage County family law attorneys for help. Call Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC at 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation.


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