Allocation of Parental Responsibility Evaluations
Allocation of Parental Responsibility decisions in Illinois are based on what the Court finds to be "in the best interest of the child." Formerly called 604(b) Custody Evaluations, the new statute, 604.10 calls for the evaluator to report on bio-psycho-social factors that will help the Court appropriately allocate parental responsibility in a manner consistent with what's in the best interest of the child. The factors considered in these decisions include:
(1) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to decision-making;
(2) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
(3) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(4) the ability of the parents to cooperate to make decisions, or the level of conflict between the parties that may affect their ability to share decision-making;
(5) the level of each parent's participation in past significant decision-making with respect to the child;
(6) any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to decision-making with respect to the child;
(7) the wishes of the parents;
(8) the child's needs;
(9) the distance between the parents' residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, each parent's and the child's daily schedules, and the ability of the parents to cooperate in the arrangement;
(10) whether a restriction on decision-making is appropriate under Section 603.10;
(11) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
(12) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's parent directed against the child;
(13) the occurrence of abuse against the child or other member of the child's household;
(14) whether one of the parents is a sex offender, and if so, the exact nature of the offense and what, if any, treatment in which the parent has successfully participated; and
(15) any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant.
Dr. Farmilant is committed to providing thoughtful, comprehensive evaluations of families of divorce, and offering useful recommendations to help the Court answer the questions of allocation of parental responsibility, visitation, relocation that are in the best interest of the children. He has established the following beliefs in his 15+ years of providing this service:
Every child deserves to be treated with respect and concern for his or her rights.
A child should not be part of the dispute between divorcing parents.
There should be no winners or losers in a custody dispute. Successful resolution of divorce means parents cooperate to raise healthy, happy children.