If you have children and are getting a divorce in Illinois, you will hear the term “parenting time.” This is a newer term being used instead of visitation. We at Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD, are familiar with parenting time and how it applies to divorce cases. It is important that you, too, become familiar with this term and what it means.
According to the Illinois General Assembly, parenting time is only used to refer to visitation times. It is the time when a parent has the children but only has non-significant decision-making power over them. This means you have the right to make decisions regarding the child about his or her safety and health, along with routine decisions, such as what he or she will eat. It is not the same as having legal custody of a child. For example, you are a father who gets to see his children every other weekend, but the children live with their mother. These weekends would be classified as parenting time.
You will be awarded parenting time based on what the court thinks is best for the child. It will not necessarily be according to your wishes unless you and your ex-spouse create a parenting plan that the court approves. Your child’s wishes, though, may be taken into consideration by the court, depending on his or her age. The court may also consider who routinely cares for the child, any evidence that may prove a parent would place the child in a dangerous or harmful situation and the relationship each parent has with the child. To find out more about child custody matters, visit our family law page.