If you have children but are not married to the other parent, both parents still maintain all the rights and responsibilities to the child as if you were married—including decision-making responsibility (sometimes known as “custody”), parenting time (sometimes known as “visitation”), child support, college, and relocation issues.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

While most divorces are emotionally complex, they’re far more challenging when children are involved. Our goal is always to resolve child-related issues with your children’s welfare as the top priority.  Some of the most common terms in custody cases are:

  • Joint decision-making, when parents can set aside their personal conflicts and make joint decisions for their children.
  • Sole decision-making, giving one parent authority to make the major decisions involving the children.
  • Allocation of parenting time, deciding where and with which parent the children will reside.


If you or your former partner wishes to move to another state with the children, this is an issue separate from allocation of parental responsibilities called relocation. While the court uses a best-interest-of-the-child test for both allocation of parental responsibilities and relocation issues, the standard for relocation is different from that in an allocation of parental responsibilities matter. It is important that your lawyer understands the differences when pursuing these issues and we are always up to date on recent case law.

Child Support

In most cases, the parent who is not awarded residential or physical custody is required to pay child support to the other parent. Illinois law follows guidelines for calculating child support, based on the number of children in your case. The Court can, however, deviate from these guidelines.  The Court will also address expenses like daycare, health insurance, and extracurricular activities.

Illinois law follows guidelines for calculating child support, based upon the number of children in your case, the income of the parties, and the allocation of parenting time.

In every case involving allocation of parental responsibilities, relocation and/or child support, our top priority is making sure you get the best results for your children.

Post-Decree Modification or Enforcement

There are two primary reasons why you might need to return to Court after a final decision or agreement is entered in your case:

o Enforcing the Judgment: If your former spouse or partner was supposed to do something but refuses to, you may seek enforcement of those terms. If the Court finds that the non-compliance was without justification, the Court can award you reasonable attorneys’ fees.

o Modifying the Judgment: Property division is not modifiable but other issues (such as the amount of child support or maintenance, or the allocation of parental responsibilities) can be altered under specific conditions. We are prepared to help you analyze your situation to determine if you meet the grounds necessary to seek modification.

Please contact us for a free, face-to-face consultation.

We handle cases throughout Cook County. Please call or send an email, so we can schedule your free initial consultation.