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Illinois Allocation of Parental Responsibilities FAQs

Attorneys Answer Questions About Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Divorce is a confusing and emotionally complex process that only becomes more tangled when children are at the heart of the matter. Nottage and Ward, LLP, has spent over two decades working side by side with parents as they attempt to find a new path, for themselves and their children, through divorce. We are here to answer your questions relating to allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly child custody) and help guide you in the direction that serves your family best. For more information, please contact our Chicago child allocation attorneys through our online form or our number at (312) 332-2915.

It is important to note that Illinois law no longer uses the term “custody.” Now, the court determines an allocation of parental responsibilities, in which it allocates decision-making and parenting time.

Can a child choose which parent to live with?

Once allocation has been determined, what if the child wishes to live with the other parent?

How often are siblings split up?

Can a parent move a child out of state?

What about vacations? Can a parent take a child out of Illinois?


Q: Can a child choose which parent to live with?

No. However, children can provide statements and preferences that weigh heavily on the outcome. A child's age and reasoning will be taken into account – the more mature the child and his or her requests, the greater the significance a presiding judge will place upon his or her testimony. Ultimately, the decision will be based on what the court views as serving the needs and best interests of the child.

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Q: Once allocation has been determined, what if the child wishes to live with the other parent?

Desire to live with the other parent doesn't necessarily mean it will occur. In order for the child to be handed over to the other parent, proof must be given that child's welfare and overall condition has either deteriorated significantly, is in the process of deteriorating, or has the relative potential to degrade as a direct result of the parent's situation, behavior, etc.

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Q: How often are siblings split up?

Splitting up siblings is a rare move and hardly ever seen in Illinois state courts. In order to do so, both parents and their representatives must make a hardy case as to why this must occur – courts will generally never take such action alone, unless there is a dramatic need present. Even with a substantial argument, it is considered an unwise ruling and not in the best interests of the children.

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Q: Can a parent move a child out of state?

Yes, a parent who has been allocated a majority of parenting time or who has been allocated equal parenting time may seek to relocate with a child, but only with a court order or consent of the other parent. Under Illinois law, “relocation” is defined as a change of residence from the child’s current primary residence in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County to a new residence within Illinois that is more than 25 miles from the current residence; a change of residence from the current primary residence located in a county other than Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will to a new residence within Illinois that is more than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence; or a change of residence from the current primary residence to a residence outside of Illinois that is more than 25 miles from the current primary residence.

In determining whether or not to allow a parent to relocate the child, the court considers the following factors:

  • The circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation;
  • The reasons, if any, why the other parent is objecting to the intended relocation;
  • The history and quality of each parent’s relationship to the child and whether the parent has exercised the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her;
  • The educational opportunities for the child at the current and proposed new locations;
  • Family members who are present or absent from each location;
  • The anticipated impact of the move;
  • Whether the court can create a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • Minimization of impairment to the parent-child relationship caused by the relocation

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Q: What about vacations? Can a parent take a child out of Illinois?

Yes, provided notice has been given to the other parent and his or her attorney on the location to which the parent and child will be traveling and when they will return.

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Chicago Child Custody Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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