A court will make a determination as to the allocation of parental responsibilities based on what is in the child’s best interest. To determine what is in the child’s best interest, the court will consider the following factors:
The court will not consider the conduct of a parent that does not affect his/her relationship to the child.
"Parenting time" means in-person time spent with the child and the parent during which a parent is responsible for exercising caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child.
A parent's right to spend time with their child(ren) is an incredibly important right that the courts are obligated to protect.
In order for these parenting time rights to be restricted in any manner (including supervised parenting time), the parenting time must seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. Parenting time will normally include routine time spent with the parent, including holidays and vacation time. There is no “guideline” or “standard” routine parenting time schedule in Illinois. If the parties cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will determine a parenting plan based on the best interest of the child.
There are serious consequences when a party has willfully and without reason denied another party court ordered parenting time. Failure to pay child support as ordered does not entitle the parent receiving support to withhold parenting time from the supporting parent. The status of child support payments does not affect the parenting time rights of the parent obligated to pay support. Likewise, a supporting parent cannot withhold child support payments because the parent receiving support is denying parenting time. No matter how often a parent sees a child, that parent has an affirmative obligation to financially support the child.
While a parent’s right to see his/her child is a right which the court must protect, the court also has an obligation to protect the child from harm. Parenting time can be restricted, supervised or denied if a parent exercises parenting time in a manner that is harmful to child. This includes, for example, exposing the child to obvious danger during parenting time, such as driving while intoxicated with the child in the car.
Glossary of Legal Terms Illinois Supreme Court