Will a Stay-At-Home Parent Get More Parenting Time in Illinois?
A divorce can be a very difficult experience for a stay-at-home parent. If you dedicate the majority of your time to caring for your children and the family home, the end of your marriage can upend your entire life. Many stay-at-home parents are understandably concerned about the financial implications of divorce, like their ability to provide for themselves and their children on their own. However, parenting time can also be a major concern, especially when you are used to seeing your children all the time.
Parenting Time Agreements for Stay-At-Home Parents
There are many reasons why a person may choose to be a stay-at-home parent, but chances are, you and your spouse had some sort of agreement during your marriage that it was best for the family for one of you to stay home. Perhaps this was because one parent was better equipped to provide for the children’s regular care, or because the other parent needed to work outside of the home to provide financially for the family. When you are getting the divorce, these reasons may still hold true, and you and your spouse may be able to negotiate a parenting time schedule in which the stay-at-home parent maintains a greater share of parenting time.
One thing, to keep in mind, however, is that a stay-at-home parent will likely eventually need to find a steady source of income, even if the divorce resolution includes spousal support for a time. When negotiating a parenting time agreement, a stay-at-home parent may want to include some time away from the children during which they can further their education or pursue employment.
Court-Ordered Parenting Time
When parents are unable to reach an agreement on a parenting time schedule, the court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. Illinois law does not expressly favor one parent over the other; for example, a mother does not have a blanket advantage over a father. However, some of the factors that the court will consider do tend to favor stay-at-home parents. The court will try to prioritize an arrangement that interferes with a child’s routine as little as possible, and will also consider prior caretaking arrangements between the parents and the amount of time that each parent has recently spent caring for the child. This does not mean that a working parent will be granted no parenting time, but it is common for a stay-at-home parent to be granted a larger amount.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney
If you are a stay-at-home parent, it is important to consider how you can best protect your interests throughout the divorce process. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we can advise and represent you in negotiations and disputes over parenting time, spousal maintenance, and the division of marital assets. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with a St. Charles parenting time lawyer.