Establishing and Maintaining Illinois Parenting Orders

In any divorce, post-divorce matter or paternity case, the welfare of the children must be a top priority. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., we use our more than 45 years of combined experience to help parents do what is right for their children. Like you, our attorneys are always focused on the best interests of the children.

The close, personal service you need during this difficult time is available through our law firm at rates you will find reasonable. We accept credit cards and offer installment payments.

New Legal Terms: 'Parental Responsibilities' and 'Parenting Time'

The Illinois legislature recently changed the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to replace the terms "legal and physical custody" with the "allocation of parental responsibilities," while the concept of "visitation" is now encompassed in the term "parenting time." These changes were made to reflect the changing conditions and roles in American family life and to clarify how shared parenting decisions will be made in our courts.

Under the previous version of the law, child custody was divided into several sub-types, including legal vs. physical custody and sole vs. shared arrangements.

The new terminology simplifies that rubric by focusing on the two main legal areas involved in parenting: 1) each parent's authority to make decisions on behalf of the child in significant areas such as health, religious upbringing, education and extra-curricular activities; and 2) the time each parent spends in person with the child while exercising caretaking functions.

The allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities between the parents can be equal or unequal. It will depend on a variety of factors but should be in the child's best interests. The agreement or order describing how the parents will share parental responsibilities and parenting time is called a parenting order. The parties must designate a primary physical residence for the children.

Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., has been helping divorcing and unmarried couples negotiate positive, workable parenting plans since 1983. We will work closely with you to understand what factors are at play in your specific situation, and then advocate for the parenting arrangements that work best for you and your kids.

Modifications and Enforcement of Existing Parenting Orders

Few people realize that, under Illinois law, you cannot force a parent to visit with a child if that parent doesn't want to visit. The custodial parent, however, is required to make the child available for parenting time as specified in the divorce decree or parenting order.

We help parents change parenting orders when necessary and enforce them when they are violated.

Learn more about child custody and visitation by reviewing the resources offered on this website, including our family law FAQs and many family law articles written by our attorneys.

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Contact us to set up a free, half-hour consultation with one of our caring and knowledgeable lawyers. Our main office is in Wheeling, and we have a second convenient office in Libertyville and third in Buffalo Grove. We serve clients in the north and northwest suburbs and throughout greater Chicago.