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Rockford Divorce Lawyer James Teeter

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Illinois Child Custody Attorney for the Allocation of Child Decision-Making Responsibilities

After a divorce, parental responsibilities continue, and a significant part of caring for a child’s best interests often requires some level of co-parenting.

Co-parenting typically involves making decisions, such as where a child will attend school, what sports an adolescent will play, what physicians the child sees, and what religious institution a child will attend. However, such decisions can be exceedingly difficult, especially after a highly contentious divorce. To facilitate a smoother co-parenting relationship, it is critical to explicitly address in a Joint Parenting Agreement (“JPA”) how important decisions regarding your child’s welfare will be made.

As an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer and child custody attorney, I help clients in crafting a JPA that is best for them and their children while seeking to avoid contentious co-parenting disputes. Call Rockford Family Law today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and how we can assist in constructing a methodical and thorough parenting agreement.

Child Custody Decision Making FAQs

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Illinois Divorce Act”), parents are allowed to allocate critical parenting decisions and responsibilities (such as decision-making authority and custody) through a Joint Parenting Agreement.

Contrary to popular belief, joint custody does not mean children will spend half the time with you and half with your spouse, or that you will both have equal decision-making authority. Instead, Joint Custody simply means whatever your JPA defines it to mean.

Typically, a JPA is a customized, structured agreement that provides how many aspects of child custody will be handled, including custody, parenting time, decisions concerning the child’s welfare, and how disputes over the JPA will be resolved.  Often, the JPA provides that its terms will be periodically reviewed, allowing for some flexibility as the needs of a child evolve.

The JPA is a critical agreement that will govern nearly all aspects of child custody and decision-making.  Therefore, it is crucial that it be detailed and that both parents understand every aspect of it.  In addition, as an experienced Rockford child custody attorney, I can develop a customized JPA that seeks to meet your objectives and clearly explain its provisions in easy-to-understand terms.

A thorough parenting agreement should provide in detail what decisions will require joint agreement, which decisions will require consultation, and which decisions will simply require notification. How medical, religious, and educational decisions are to be made are almost always specifically addressed.

Such agreements should also have detailed visitation and parenting time schedules, set forth how the parents will communicate with the children when in the other parent’s custody, and define parental conduct rules.  Most JPAs also include a provision that when disputes arise, the parents will attend mediation prior to going to Court.

There are a host of other issues that parents should at least consider including in a JPA, including (but not limited to):

  • when the children can start dating/working/driving,
  • if joint decisions are required to get tattoos or body piercings, and
  • whether the parents can have boyfriends or girlfriends reside overnight when the children are present.

How We Represent Clients in Developing Workable JPAs that Properly Allocate Decision-Making Authority.

While many parents start the custody process with the idea of amicably working together in the best interest of their children, few parents know all of the issues that need to be discussed, agreed upon, and incorporated into a JPA. It is critical that all of the important issues be resolved in the JPA and not left as a matter to be handled at a later date.

As an experienced Rockford child custody attorney, I can carefully listen to your needs and concerns and address those concerns in a customized JPA which will avoid unnecessary, aggravating, and costly post-divorce disputes.

We Can Represent You in JPA Negotiation and Preparation and With Any Child Custody or Visitation Need You May Have. Call today to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.

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Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client. Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client.

Family Law Attorney James O. Teeter Jr.
With 25+ Years of Legal Experience
is Here to Represent You!

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$199 CONSULTATION

(1.5 Hrs.) One Hour for $199 + 30-Minutes FREE with No-Obligation | In-Person, by Zoom or by Phone
In-Depth Discussion of Your Specific Situation and Potential Strategy | Or

Type of Case:
Illinois County:
Please enter a number from 0 to 21.

Submission of information through the contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship, so please do not submit any confidential information. If we are to serve as your attorneys, all fees and the nature of our representation will be set forth in a written agreement.