When you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about parenting time and parenting responsibility, you may ask Illinois’ family court system to make such decisions for you. When tasked with doing so, the court system typically refers to the same set of factors. 

While how much weight the court system gives each factor may depend on your child’s age, among other variables, understanding what these variables are may give you a better sense of your custody chances. What are some of the areas Illinois family courts consider when allocating parenting responsibilities? 

Your child’s preferences

If your child is an infant or toddler, his or her own wishes with regard to where to live may not carry much weight. Older children may have strong opinions about where they want to live. If your son or daughter is old and mature enough to voice an opinion, the court may take it into account. 

Each parents’ contributions to date

The court system may also consider whether one parent has been the primary decision maker for your child up until this point. If you have always been the one to make decisions about health care, education and related areas, you may have a better chance of continuing to hold such responsibilities. 

The physical distance between residences

Where you and your child’s other parent plan to live after your split may also impact decisions about parenting time and responsibility. Your willingness to work with one another to ensure that your child maintains relationships with both parents may also come into play, and particularly if the two of you plan to live far apart.