Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 830, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Address 327 Dahlonega St., Suite 1803-A, Cumming, GA 30040
678-208-9200Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
678-208-9200Available 24/7

Oak Brook Attorney for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Western Springs parental alienation lawyer

Divorce Lawyer Assisting with Custody and Parenting Agreements in DuPage County

In the past, when parents ended their marriage in divorce, one parent would usually retain primary legal and physical custody of the couple's children. This reflected how many families used to operate, with one parent (usually the father) acting as the primary breadwinner, and the other parent (usually the mother) staying home to care for the children. However, in today's society, mothers and fathers often both work and share parental responsibility, and divorce laws have changed to reflect this.

At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have the experience to help parents reach a satisfactory agreement about how to allocate parental responsibilities, and we will work with you to resolve outstanding issues while protecting your children's best interests.

Parental Responsibility in Illinois

In recent years, the state of Illinois has done away with the term "custody" altogether, replacing it with the term "allocation of parental responsibility." During divorce, parents will need to determine whether one parent will have primary responsibility or whether the parents will share responsibility in four areas:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Religion
  • Extracurricular activities

During divorce, parents are encouraged to work together (often through methods of alternative dispute resolution) to reach an agreement on a parenting plan that defines the allocation of parental responsibilities, as well as a parenting time schedule. If parents are unable to reach an agreement, the judge in their case will make a decision that will be based on several factors, including:

  • The wishes of the parents and the children, while considering children's maturity level and ability to express their preferences.
  • The physical and mental health of both parents and children.
  • The children's needs.
  • The distance between the parents' residences and the cost and difficulty of transporting children between residences while working around parents' work schedules and children's school schedules.
  • Each parent's past participation in making significant decisions regarding their children.
  • The parents' willingness to cooperate with each other and encourage their children to have a relationship with the other parent.
  • Whether children are under the threat of violence or abuse while in the care of either parent.

Parental Alienation

Illinois courts encourage divorcing parents to work together as they raise their children, but despite the benefits that children receive when they maintain a positive relationship with both parents, some parents may attempt to alienate their children against the other parent. In these cases, Illinois law allows parents to seek a modification of their parental agreement based on the other parent's unwillingness to "facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child."

Parents who are seeking to modify their parenting plan will need to provide proof of parental alienation. If the court agrees with them, the other parent's parental responsibilities may be restricted, and in some cases, the court may require their parenting time to be supervised.

Contact an Elmhurst Divorce Attorney

When you are working to reach an agreement with your spouse about the allocation of parental responsibilities, an experienced attorney can help you ensure that you have met all your legal requirements and, if necessary advocate for your interests in court. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we can provide you with the legal help you need throughout the divorce process. Contact our Oak Brook law office at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients in Hinsdale, Lombard, Downers Grove, Willowbrook, Burr Ridge, and surrounding areas.

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