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Parentage & Child Custody

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Parentage & Child Custody

Parental responsibilities mean making important decisions for a child and spending time with them. The court usually decides who is awarded parental responsibilities when married parents divorce. If the parents were never married, parental responsibilities are determined by:

  • The court deciding if a person is a legal parent of a child. This is called determining parentage; or
  • One of the parents asking for child support or time with the child.

When a child is with a parent, that parent oversees day-to-day care for the child.

This includes:

  • Feeding the child
  • Ensuring the child gets-up and goes to school
  • Taking care of the child when the child is sick
  • Making sure the child is clean and dressed
  • Getting the child to activities
  • Playing with the child
  • Transporting the child to medical appointments
  • Disciplining the child, if necessary
  • Teaching the child responsibility (chores etc.)
  • Arranging for someone to watch the child

You have probably heard the words custody and visitation. As of January 1, 2016, Illinois no longer uses these words. Instead, the state uses the words “significant decision-making responsibility” and “parenting time”.

  • Significant decision-making responsibility means making important decisions for a child in the areas of education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and religion. The court can give one or both parents significant decision-making responsibility. If the parents share decision-making responsibility, they must talk to each other before making decisions about the child. This is what used to be called joint custody. If the court gives one parent decision-making responsibility, that parent can make decisions without asking the other parent. This is what used to be called sole custody.
  • Parenting time means time the child spends with each parent, including the parent with which the child lives. The court usually gives both parents some parenting time, but time is not always equal. Usually, the child lives mostly with one parent, (in the past, the custodial parent) and has regular contact with the other parent (in the past, visitation).
Do You Need Help With Parentage & Child Custody Issues?

Chicago Family Law Group has years of experience in dealing with these sensitive matters. Contact us today, and we’ll take a look at your unique situation and see how we can best assist you.

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