Being a parent is hard under the best conditions, but when Illinois parents choose to go through a divorce, parenting can become even more complex. Even two people who can prioritize their children’s well-being may find it hard to agree to a schedule or arrangement through which each can spend meaningful time with their children. While parents are allowed to make their own plans that outline when and with whom children will live and visit, courts often must get involved in parental responsibility hearings to help the parties smooth out their disagreements.

In Illinois, parental responsibilities can be shared or be granted solely to one of a child’s parents. This post is not legal advice and only provides basic information on a complex legal topic. Readers with custody and parenting responsibility questions can talk to their own family law attorneys about their unique situations.

Shared or joint parental responsibilities

Decisions regarding the care of children following a separation or divorce are based on how to serve the needs and interests of the affected kids. As all children are different, finding arrangements that met their best needs can be difficult. Often, however, children benefit from having time with both of their parents, and joint parental responsibilities can achieve these ends.

Sole parental responsibilities

If a parent may be unable to care for their child, they may be denied custodial rights in the assignment of parental responsibilities. Similarly, if a parent poses a danger or has inflicted harm on their child, they may not be allowed to have unsupervised time with their child in a custodial arrangement.

It is not possible to predict how a family’s parental responsibilities matter will resolve as all families have different needs and requirements. This post offers a general overview of an important family law topic. Specific guidance should be sought from knowledgeable family law attorneys.