Allocation Of Parental Responsibilities And Parenting Time
Who gets “custody”?
Divorcing parents no longer decide who gets custody; they must reach an agreement or have the court determine where the children will reside the majority of the time, which parent will have responsibility for making major decisions about doctors, treatment options, education and school choices from preschool through high school, extracurricular, other organized activities and religion. And they must determine a schedule for parenting time which is the time that the children will spend with each parent.
However, if the parties cannot agree, there are some steps that have to be taken before they can put the issue before a judge for determination in a trial. There is mandatory mediation to see if the disputes can be resolved with a third-party attorney-mediator paid by the parties. And if that is unsuccessful, the court can order a psychological evaluation to be undertaken for which the parties must pay a court-appointed psychologist. In the alternative or in addition to mediation, the judge can appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) who is a lawyer that can determine things the judge cannot in order to help the judge learn about the situation. The GAL interviews the parties, children and relevant others and reports to the judge with recommendations. And, of course, the parties pay the GAL fees. If after those processes are complete, the parties still cannot reach an agreement, then they can go to trial and present their case to the Judge for decision.
The new law has some new concepts. For example, rules for the relocation of the parent with majority time, and new language expanding and clarifying several other concepts. Attorney Cellucci can examine and discuss your situation with you, outline your best options and give you her opinion but, in the end, you will make the final decisions on how you want to proceed.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You
Attorney Cellucci can help you keep your children’s best interests at the forefront of determining parental responsibilities and parenting time. Contact her Naperville office online or call her at 630-912-5058 for your initial consultation today.