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Cook County Parental Responsibilities Lawyer

Andersonville Child Custody Attorney

Compassionate Chicago Child Custody Attorney

If you are a parent who is going through a divorce, you probably worry every day about how the lives of your children will be affected. Obviously, you want what is best for your children, but it is also important to ensure that your rights are looked after as well. At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC, we understand that your children mean the world to you and that you would do almost anything for them. Our team is ready to provide the guidance and representation you need during a divorce that involves children.

Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross has more than 30 years of experience in the practice of family law. He has also served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem and child's representative in many contested child-related proceedings. With his background, Mr. Ross realizes that children usually fare best after a divorce when both of their parents stay involved with the children. However, he also knows that parents often get caught up in the emotions of their dispute and lose sight of what matters most: the best interests of their children. He and his team will keep your children as our top priority as we help you develop parenting arrangements that also respect your rights as a parent.

Understanding Parental Responsibilities in Oak Park and Lincoln Park

The concept of "child custody" is now known as the "allocation of parental responsibilities" under Illinois law, thanks to reforms that were made several ago. The change in terminology was intended to reduce the contentiousness of custody battles that often turned raising a child after a divorce into a bitter contest between the parents. Instead of "winning" or "losing" custody, parents are now allocated a share of parental responsibilities that is in the best interests of the child.

Parental responsibilities in Illinois can be broken down into two primary categories. The first category is the responsibility for making significant decisions regarding the child while the second category is parenting time. Significant decision-making authority refers to the role that each parent will play in making important choices about the child, including educational decisions, health and medical care, religious training, and the child's extracurricular activities.

Parenting time was previously known as visitation, and it refers to the time each parent gets to spend with the child. A child's legal parent is guaranteed the right to reasonable parenting time by Illinois law, as long as the parent is not considered to be a danger to the child. The law, however, does not define "reasonable parenting time," so you and your spouse are free to create a parenting time schedule that suits your unique situation.

Daley Center Lawyer for Sole and Joint Decision-Making Authority

You may be familiar with the terms "sole custody" and "joint custody" of a child, but such labels were largely phased out during the shift from "child custody" to "parental responsibilities." It is still possible, however, for one parent to be given sole authority for significant decision-making or for both parents to share in that responsibility. In fact, decision-making authority can be allocated in many different ways.

For example, you and your spouse—or the court—could decide that you have the final say on all significant decisions regarding your child but that your spouse must be included in any conversations about such decisions. Alternatively, you could have the final say on all decisions without needing to consult the other parent. If the best option is to share decision-making authority, you could make all such decisions together with the other parent, or each of you could be separately responsible for different aspects of the child's life. A parent who is also a teacher, for example, might be well-suited for making education-related decisions for the child while a parent who is a doctor might handle health-related choices.

At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC, we will work closely with you in developing a parenting plan that meets the needs of your family. Mr. Ross is a certified family law mediator who is trained to facilitate productive discussions between divorcing parents. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, however, we are ready and willing to protect your rights through litigation as well.

Schedule a Free Limited Consultation

If you have questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois, contact our office to get the answers you need. Call 312-984-1514 for a no-cost, limited consultation with Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross today. From our offices in downtown Chicago, we serve families in Andersonville, West Loop, River North, Bucktown, Gold Coast, Wrightwood, and throughout Cook County, Illinois.

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