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When getting a divorce as a parent, one of the most pressing things that will need to be resolved prior to the finalization of the divorce is how custody or parenting time of a child will be shared. While some people may assume that a mother will be granted custody, or that it is best if a child lives with one parent full-time and simply visits with the other, the idea of 50/50 custody or parenting time in Illinois is gaining traction.

What Is 50/50 Custody (Parenting Time)?

As explained by an article in NPR Illinois, 50/50 custody, or equal parent time, refers to an elimination of any bias towards one parent over the other, and creates a presumption that equal, shared parenting time of a child is within a child’s best interests.

Of course, the presumption that a 50/50 split is best for a child can be challenged, and any evidence presented that holds that equal parenting time of a child is not within a child’s best interest could result in a different arrangement. Two of biggest benefits of the 50/50 presumption being the starting point in a child custody case, according to the article cited above, is that it gives fathers more opportunity to be involved in children’s lives and promotes equal parenting rights statewide.

Parenting time vs. Decision-Making

Parenting time refers to being in charge of a child’s physical wellbeing, and typically includes providing housing, clothing, food, etc. Decision-making (formerly referred to as custody) refers to the ability to make decisions regarding a child, such as types of medical care they should or should not receive, their religious upbringing, their education, and more. If parents are splitting parenting time equally, then a child would, theoretically, transition between parents’ homes on a regular basis. If parents have shared decision-making, then both parents would have an equal say in the child’s upbringing.

Factors a Court Considers When Making a Custody Decision

Of course, while a 50/50 custody split may have numerous benefits, this is not an ideal situation for all children and families. As such, there are 14 specific factors that a court will consider in making a child custody decision (when parents cannot agree to a parenting time-sharing arrangement on their own), as well as “any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant.”

Let Our Child Custody Lawyers Assist You

Serving Naperville, Downers Grove, Aurora, Lombard, Lisle, Wheaton, and surrounding areas, our child custody lawyers at the office of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. are prepared to help you navigate the complicated process of reaching a child custody arrangement with your spouse. We have experience in complex child custody cases, and always advocate for a child’s best interests. To learn more about how we can serve you, please call us directly or reach out to us using the contact form found on our website.