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Reasons to Not Seek Sole Responsibility for Your Children During Divorce

Posted on in Child Custody

Reasons to Not Seek Sole Responsibility for Your Children During DivorceIn some divorces, a parent is allowed to have sole responsibility for their child, including complete control over parenting time and decision making. This most often occurs when one of the parents is physically abusive towards the child or shows a total lack of interest in being part of the child’s life. However, most parenting plans will allocate parental responsibilities between both parents. In Illinois, the presumption is that one parent will have a majority but not all of the parenting time. Still, some parents try to receive sole parental responsibility for personal reasons. You should consider whether seeking sole responsibility is a wise decision before you go down that path.

Problems with Sole Responsibility

Illinois prefers a shared parenting plan because it assumes that children of divorce are better off when both parents are active in raising them. The exception is when you can prove a reasonable belief that your children could be in danger if they are left alone with your co-parent. You cannot deny your spouse’s parental rights as a way to punish them for infidelity or because you think you are a better parent. Those factors may help you receive a majority of the parental responsibilities but do not mean that your spouse is an unfit parent. Receiving sole responsibility is usually not in your children’s best interests. Having a strong relationship with both parents is crucial to a child’s development, and they may resent you if you try to deny their relationship with their other parent.

Requesting sole parental responsibility is also impractical unless there is a compelling reason for it. Consider that:

  • Your spouse will disagree with your request, setting yourself up for a long legal battle.
  • A divorce court will not grant you sole parental responsibility if it is clearly not in the children’s best interest.
  • The court may instead form an unfavorable opinion of you if it believes that your request is unreasonable.

You may ultimately be wasting your time and money if you go to trial in an attempt to receive sole parental responsibility.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

Divorcing when you have children means that you will need to cooperate and communicate with your co-parent after your divorce is finished. Seeking and failing to get sole parental responsibility could instead make your interaction more adversarial. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can explain the importance of creating a shared parenting agreement that benefits your children. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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