During a divorce, couples need to make major decisions regarding how their lives will look after the marriage ends. For parents, some of the most important ones involve how parental responsibilities are divided between the two parents. There are two different parts of parental responsibilities that parents will need to make decisions on. There is the decision-making part and the parenting time part.
While being able to make decisions or having a say in making the decisions is very important, knowing when they will be able to see their children is just as important. That is why parents need to know how parenting time decisions are made so they can ensure that they see their children as much as possible.
Factors used to determine parenting time
When judges make decisions regarding parenting time, they analyze a number of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The wishes of the parents
- The wishes of the children if they are of a suitable age and maturity level to understand what is in their best interests
- How much time each parent spent taking care of the children during the marriage
- The children’s establishment in their current schools and communities
- The needs of the children
- How far apart the parents live from each other
- Whether there was any abuse between the parents or toward the children
- The parents’ ability to put the children’s well-being ahead of their own and their ability to encourage the children’s relationship with the other parent
Parenting time is a very important decision in divorces in Illinois. They are also very complicated, fact-specific decisions. Each family is unique and their circumstances are unique as well. Judges need to analyze those unique circumstances based on the factors to determine a parenting time schedule that is in the best interests of the children. Experienced attorneys understand the importance of these decisions and may be able to guide parents through it.