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Lombard IL family law attorneyIf you are a parent, your children are probably a top priority in your divorce. You may be well aware of the profound impact divorce often has on children and want to ensure that you do whatever you can to minimize your kids’ suffering. You may hold strong opinions about the child custody arrangements that are best for your kids after a divorce. What happens if these opinions differ from the other parent’s opinions? How are child custody disputes handled in Illinois?

Child Custody Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, child custody is now referred to as “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Parental responsibilities primarily include the parents’ authority to make major child-related decisions. Parents may decide that one parent is in charge of the child’s education, extracurriculars, religious training, and other important matters, or the parents may share decision-making responsibility. Parenting time, which used to be called “visitation,” is the time that a child spends in the care of each parent. Parents are asked to complete a parenting plan that describes how parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other important matters will be handled. The parenting plan is submitted to the court for approval. However, some parents cannot reach an agreement on child custody concerns on their own.

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IL family lawyerIf you are going through a divorce, you likely have a lot of questions. It is critical to receive the answers you need so you fully understand the process and can better protect your rights. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about family law in Illinois, and the answers to them.

Is a Legal Separation Required?

Unlike some states, Illinois does not place a mandatory separation period on couples before they can file for divorce. If one party does not agree to the divorce, you may have to live separate and apart from your spouse. This does not necessarily mean that you have to live under separate roofs. You simply must show that you have lived independently from your spouse.

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IL family law lawyerAt Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C, we are so proud to announce that Attorney Marlene E. Siedlarz has been recognized for her volunteer work. Each year, the DuPage Legal Aid Foundation recognizes attorneys dedicated to helping individuals in need and Attorney Siedlarz has been awarded for the year 2021. For years, she has used her in-depth knowledge of the law to help those in need. Today, she focuses on family law, helping families through issues such as child custody, grandparents’ visitation rights, and more.

About the DuPage Legal Aid Foundation

The DuPage Legal Aid Foundation was founded in 1975 and since that time, has been committed to helping clients in need by offering pro bono services. To do this, the Foundation relies on support from DuPage County, the State of Illinois Lawyers Trust Fund, the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, and the DuPage County Bar Association, along with other sponsors and donors.

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IL custody lawyerWhen allocating parenting time between two parents who have decided to separate, Illinois courts are specifically directed to make their determination based on what would be in a child’s best interests. Although this may seem like a vague standard, Illinois law actually establishes what factors are important in determining a child’s best interests. Applying these factors to a particular case can, however, be a complicated process, so if you share a child with a former partner and need help coming up with a parenting plan that reflects what is best for your family, it is critical to consult with an experienced Lombard, IL child custody and parental responsibilities lawyer before proceeding with your case.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard

Like most other states, Illinois lawmakers adopted a series of factors that courts must consider in evaluating what is in a child’s best interests, including:

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IL divorce lawyerEvery single year, thousands of couples throughout the United States make the difficult decision to file for divorce. The divorce process can be increasingly complicated when children are involved. In the state of Illinois, child custody is now referred to as parental responsibilities. Parental responsibilities will define how time with the children and decision making is allocated between the parents. Due to the fact that the court will make their decision based on the best interest of the child, it is your responsibility to prove that you can provide your child with a safe and healthy living environment. Below we will examine some of the steps you can take to secure parental responsibilities during your divorce.

What Do Parental Responsibilities Entail?

When you are awarded parental responsibilities, you will be in charge of ensuring that all of your child’s needs are met. This means that you will be tasked with providing your child with a healthy diet, getting your child to and from scholastic and extracurricular activities, addressing all medical needs of your child, and ensuring that some level of supervision is provided when you are not available to directly care for your child. In the state of Illinois parental responsibilities are divided into two categories: decision-making-power and parenting time.

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