What Factors Does a Court Consider in Allocating Parenting Time?
By: M. Scott Gordon
If you are familiar with recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that took effect on January 1, 2016, you know that the state is no longer using the terms “child custody” and “visitation.” Instead, those terms have been replaced, respectively, with “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” While parental responsibilities involve making significant decisions about the child’s upbringing—such as the child’s education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities—parenting time instead means “the time during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child.”
What do you need to know about caretaking functions and the way the court allocates parenting time?
What Does the Statue Mean When it Refers to “Caretaking Functions”?
Under the statute, “caretaking functions” are defined as “tasks that involve interaction with a child or that direct, arrange, and supervise interaction with and care of a child provided by others, or for obtaining the resources allowing for the provision of these functions.” The IMDMA goes on to list examples of caretaking functions, which include but are not limited to:
Since the caretaking functions listed above are among the primary tasks involved in parenting time, what factors does a court consider when it allocates parenting time to a child’s parents?
Statutory Factors in Allocating Parenting Time
The IMDMA emphasizes that the court seeks to allocate parenting time in a manner that is in the child’s best interests. In order to develop a parenting plan which includes a schedule, the parents must work together and agree to time that the child will spend with both parents. When the parents cannot agree to a parenting plan, the court will then allocate each parent’s responsibilities and time / schedule. In so doing, it will consider a number of different factors, including but not limited to:
A Divorce Lawyer in Chicago Can Help
If you have questions about developing a parenting plan, or if you have concerns about how the court will allocate parenting time in your case, an experienced Chicago divorce attorney can help. Contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates today.