Parental Responsibility (formerly child custody) and Parenting Time (formerly visitation), are often the most contentious matters in divorce proceedings. Understandably so as it is the desire of every parent to care for their children's well being and to always want to keep their children close to them. While the ideal way to work out a child custody issue is through collaboration and negotiation, disputes often arise and require the legal counsel of a reliable and experienced Wheaton family law attorney to reach a settlement.

At Keller Legal Services, we work with you to completely understand your situation and explain the options that are available to help you make informed decisions. Our Wheaton child custody attorneys also provide you legal guidance for seeking a resolution with your ex-spouse or partner through collaborative law or mediation. Based on your specific circumstances, we devise a thorough legal strategy to make sure you get a favorable outcome that is best for you, your child, and your family as a whole.

Updated Illinois Child Custody Laws

As of January 1, 2016, determinations related to child custody matters are decided using the updated amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("IMDMA"). The new updated child custody laws have ended the old sole vs. joint custody classifications. The courts are now required to allocate parental responsibility with regard to making decisions relating to the child(ren), instead of establishing which parent is suitable for being a primary custodian. Several key decision making functions have been identified for dividing these decision responsibilities for the child; including education, healthcare, religion and extracurricular activities. The court is required to assign each of these responsibilities to one parent or to both parents to share in the decision-making process. The court can make these assignments in any fashion it deems is in the best interests of the child. For instance, the court can assign shared decision making for all things other than religion, and award mom exclusive decision making authority as to religion. The parties may also agree to assign decision making authority to other areas of the child(ren)s life beyond just education, healthcare, religion and extracurricular activities. The courts generally only focus on those four-key decision making functions when assigning Parental Responsibilities.

The legal terminology for “custody” and “visitation” now is replaced with “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time”. All parental responsibilities and award of parenting time will be set forth in every case in a comprehensive legal document, known as a “Parenting Plan”.

Wheaton Child Custody and Parenting Plans

At Keller Legal Services, our Wheaton child custody attorneys put the best interests of the children above everything else. We work closely with you to seek effective resolutions to reach a common ground with your spouse or unmarried partner to settle your case as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in drafting parenting plans that cover all the important issues, such as:

  • Discipline
  • Education
  • Child care choices
  • Emergency decision-making guidelines
  • Extracurricular activities of the child(ren)
  • Healthcare needs of the child(ren)
  • Household rules
  • Living arrangements
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Religion

A comprehensive parenting plan can prevent many parental disputes in the future and help in maintaining a positive relationship with your children. While negotiation and an out-of-court settlement is recommended, our Wheaton attorneys understand that disputes in some situations are inevitable and require effective litigation. We are always prepared to aggressively represent you in court proceedings and protect your rights.

Dedicated Child Custody Attorneys Serving Wheaton And Surrounding Areas in Illinois

Whether you are facing a custody dispute or need legal counsel for parent responsibilities or parenting time, our Wheaton child custody attorneys will offer experienced and effective legal counsel to help you achieve your goals. Call Keller Legal Services today at 630-868-3093 or contact online for scheduling an initial consultation to discuss your case.