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Top Factors Influencing Parenting Time Determinations in Illinois Courts

When determining parenting time in Illinois, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. This principle guides every decision related to child custody and parenting responsibilities. For parents navigating the complexities of divorce, understanding the factors that influence these decisions can be crucial for preparing their cases. Here, we outline the top factors that Illinois courts consider when determining parenting time and how legal representation, like that offered by the Dan Walker Law Office, can support parents through this challenging process.

Factor #1. Wishes Of The Child And Parents

One of the primary considerations is the expressed desires of the child, depending on their age and maturity. Courts will also consider the parents’ wishes as outlined in their proposed parenting plans. While a child’s preference is taken into account, it is not the sole determinant, especially if their choice does not align with their best interests.

Factor #2. Child’s Adjustment To Home, School, And Community

The stability of the child’s current living arrangement plays a significant role. Courts look at how well the child is adjusted to their home, school, and community. This factor is crucial because it can determine the impact of any changes in living arrangements on the child’s psychological and emotional well-being.

Factor #3. Mental And Physical Health Of All Parties

The mental and physical health of both the child and the parents is carefully examined. Any health issues that might affect the parent’s ability to care for the child, or any health considerations concerning the child that require special care, are significant in deciding parenting time.

Factor #4. Ability Of Parents To Facilitate and Encourage A Close Relationship Between The Child And Other Parent

Illinois courts value the ongoing involvement of both parents. A parent’s willingness and ability to support a continuing relationship between the child and the ex-spouse is highly regarded. Courts tend to favor arrangements that promote mutual respect and cooperation between divorced parents.

Factor #5. Any Past Instances Of Violence Or Abuse

Any history of violence or abuse by a parent, whether directed towards the child, the other parent, or another person, will heavily influence the court’s decisions. Protecting the child from potential harm is paramount, and this factor can override others if the risk is significant.

Factor #6. Willingness To Actively Share Parenting Time

Courts look favorably on parents who demonstrate a willingness to share parenting responsibilities actively. This includes not just the day-to-day care but also decision-making regarding the child’s education, health care, and other essential aspects of their life.

Factor #7. The Nature Of Each Parent’s Work Schedule

The practical aspects of each parent’s work schedule are considered, especially how they align with the child’s school schedule and their availability to the child. Flexibility, the ability to provide for the child’s daily needs, and the presence of a supportive family network can influence the court’s decision.

Factor #8. Sibling Relationships

The presence of siblings and the importance of maintaining these relationships can also influence parenting time decisions. Courts typically prefer to keep siblings together to support familial bonds and provide mutual emotional support during the transition of a divorce.

Discuss Your Case With Our Child Custody Lawyer In Hinsdale

Understanding these factors can empower parents to prepare their cases better and advocate for their children’s best interests effectively. However, the complexity of family law and the nuances of individual cases often require professional legal guidance.

If you are seeking to settle child custody matters amicably or need to take your case to court, our lawyers offer outstanding legal support and advice. Furthermore, if you need clarity on how claims of drug addiction could affect the distribution of parental duties, our legal team is ready to help. Contact our child custody lawyer in Hinsdale at Dan Walker Law Office by calling (630) 920-8800 to arrange a consultation.

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