Serving Parents Throughout Macon County & Surrounding Areas
When parents separate or divorce, the issue of child custody becomes an important matter. This issue can be one of the most emotionally challenging and contentious in a divorce, especially in cases where the breakup is less than amicable. As a parent, you want what is best for your child. However, the emotional issues behind your divorce can often make unbiased and reasonable decisions difficult and stressful. This is where the knowledgeable and steady hand of a trusted family law attorney can be invaluable.
At Hawkins, Amero & Root P.C., we have decades of experience in helping our clients resolve this difficult and often high-conflict issue. We understand that divorce and separation can threaten your parental relationship in terms of the time you spend with your child(ren) and your rights concerning their care and upbringing. However, it is important to remember that Illinois courts favor individualized solutions to these issues based on the unique dynamics and circumstances of your family. Our firm can help you successfully address your concerns and desires in creating custody arrangements that meet the predominant court guideline of “the child’s best interests.”
Child “custody” is no longer used as a legal term in Illinois as of 2016. Instead of defining your relationship with your child(ren) as custody, it is now defined under Illinois law as a combination of parenting time and parenting responsibility. Courts now “allocate” parental responsibilities that include time spent with children as well as the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life, such as those involving schooling, medical care, religious upbringing, extracurricular activities, and the like.
Allocation is done through an Allocation Judgment in which parents can decide which responsibilities they will take on regarding the child. One or both parents can be responsible for a specific decision-making role, such as school decisions or for all of those decisions. Parenting time includes the time the child will spend with a parent under his or her care and where “non-significant” decision-making responsibilities can be made by that parent.
Parenting plans are written agreements between the parents that specify what each parent’s role will be in significant decision-making and how parenting time will be divided. A detailed schedule can be laid out in the parenting plan of the child’s time spent in each home, how children will be transported between the homes, and how holidays, birthdays, vacations, and other special events will be scheduled.
As custody lawyers, we can help you negotiate and draft parenting plans; these must be submitted to the court for approval. We will do everything possible to help you and the other parent reach a mutually-acceptable agreement, whether through negotiation or mediation. However, we will be prepared to take your case to court before a judge if necessary or appropriate.
Get seasoned legal guidance about your case in a free initial consultation with a Decatur child custody attorney at Hawkins, Amero & Root P.C. Contact us online or by calling (217) 599-6110.
Putting together parenting plans that involve decision-making responsibilities and time spent with your children can be a difficult and emotional process. Our team has long experience in helping clients settle this critical task. We are committed to helping you with knowledgeable counsel and guidance designed to meet your needs while meeting the legal standards of the court. Throughout it all, we will be by your side providing you with tenacious advocacy and the support you need at this critical juncture. Our goal is to help you move forward with a plan that works for you now as well as into the future.
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