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How Will Issues Related to Child Care Affect Child Custody Decisions?

 Posted on June 20,2023 in Family Law

Homewood Family Law AttorneyWhen divorcing or unmarried parents need to address issues related to child custody, they may encounter disagreements about how they will divide parental responsibilities and when children will live with each parent. There are a variety of factors that may play a role in decisions related to the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, and one important issue will involve the parents' history of providing care for their children. By understanding how child care that has been and is currently being provided by parents will be addressed during a family law case, parents can take steps to protect their parental rights and make decisions that will provide for their children's best interests.

Understanding the Role of Caretaking Functions in a Child Custody Case

In many cases, family courts will seek to preserve the status quo as much as possible and avoid disrupting children's lives. Parents should be able to maintain positive relationships with their children and continue serving in the roles that they held in the past as they provided care for their children and ensured that children's needs were met.

In Illinois family law cases, the term "parenting time" is used to refer to the periods when children will be in the care of a parent. When determining how parenting time will be allocated between parents, a variety of factors may be considered. One of the most important of these factors involves each parent's level of participation in "caretaking functions." Courts may consider the types of child care activities parents were involved in during the two years prior to when a divorce or child custody case began. This can inform whether a parent will be able to provide for children's needs going forward, and it can ensure that children will continue receiving the care they are accustomed to from their parents.

There are numerous activities that fall under the umbrella of caretaking functions, including:

  • Addressing children's nutritional needs, including preparing and serving meals.

  • Managing daily routines, including putting children to bed and helping them get up and get ready in the mornings.

  • Providing medical or personal care when a child is sick, treating wounds or injuries, and ensuring that children attend medical appointments.

  • Addressing hygienic concerns, including bathing and grooming.

  • Playing with children and being involved in their activities.

  • Assisting with children's developmental needs, including building language and motor skills, providing toilet training, and addressing other issues related to their growth and maturity.

  • Providing discipline when necessary and setting and enforcing rules for proper behavior.

  • Instructing children in the proper manners, providing them with moral and ethical guidance, and helping them maintain self-restraint and control over their behavior.

  • Assigning chores to children and supervising them as they complete household tasks.

  • Providing transportation for children to and from school and activities.

  • Attending to children's educational needs, including ensuring they go to school, meeting with teachers, arranging for special education or services, and assisting with homework.

  • Helping children build positive relationships with family members and friends.

  • Arranging child care when necessary, such as by hiring babysitters or having children stay with extended family members.

  • Protecting children's physical safety.

Contact Our Will County Parenting Time Attorneys

As you address issues related to child custody, you will want to make sure you will have sufficient parenting time with your children that will allow you to provide them with the proper care. At The Foray Firm, our Joliet child custody lawyers can help you document the caretaking functions you have participated in previously, and we will advocate for solutions that will allow you to continue providing these types of care for your children in the future. We will work to ensure that your children's best interests will be protected when decisions are made about child custody and parenting time. Contact us at 312-702-1293 to arrange a consultation and get the legal help you need.




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