Parenting Schedules in Parentage (Never-Married) Cases
Illinois' new Parental Responsibility law (1/1/2016) places divorcing and never-married parents in the same position: parenting schedules must serve the child's best interest. Need advice? Call, leave your info, or scheduleschedule a consult.
Before 2016, divorcing parents enjoyed an "entitlement" to visitation with their children. Never-married parents, however, first had to prove that visitation was in the child's best interest and, only if successful in that effort, couid they ask for a particular schedule. Department of Public Aid ex rel. Gagnon-Dix v. Gagnon, 288 Ill.App.3d 424, 427-28, 223 Ill.Dec. 776, 680 N.E.2d 509, 512 (1997).
Today, there is no distinction between divorcing and never-married parents. The factors for determining when parenting time is in the child's best interests are set out in 750 ILCS 5/602.7. The Parentage law for never-married parents (The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, 750 ILCS 46/101 et seq.) tells us to look to the divorce law and divorce cases for guidance in setting parenting schedules for children of never-married parents:
The judgment shall contain or explicitly reserve provisions concerning . . . parenting time privileges with the child . . . which the court shall determine in accordance with the relevant factors set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act . . . to guide the court in a finding in the best interests of the child. In determining . . . parenting time, parenting time interference, . . . the court shall apply the relevant standards of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.