The "Caretaking Functions" Child Custody Factor

 Posted on April 22, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIn Illinois, child custody decisions are made based on what is best for the child. When the courts have to make child custody decisions, they consider a list of factors. One of these factors is which parent spent more time performing “caretaking functions” in the last two years or if the child is younger than two years old since the child was born. What exactly are “caretaking functions?” Caretaking functions are all the things parents do to keep their children healthy and safe while teaching them good behavior and moral lessons. A Wheaton, IL child custody lawyer can help you understand what caretaking functions the court might consider in a contested child custody case.

Understanding What Caretaking Functions Are 

“Caretaking functions” is a very broad term that includes the obvious parenting tasks, like changing diapers or cooking food for the child, and other tasks like providing moral guidance. Some of the caretaking functions the court might consider include:

  • Making sure your child goes to school - Getting a young child up and ready for school is a caretaking function. So is getting up hours earlier than you would otherwise have to to make sure your rebellious teenager actually gets on the school bus at 6:30 in the morning. 
  • Providing discipline - Although your child might not see it this way, disciplining him when he does something wrong is part of caring for your child. Parents who do not discipline their children risk seeing their children get into trouble later in life. 
  • Overseeing the child’s extracurricular activities - Extracurricular activities, like little league sports or learning a musical instrument, help your child become a well-rounded adult. Driving her to lessons or coaching her softball team are caretaking functions. 
  • Supervising the child - Spending time watching your child at home is a caretaking function. If one parent is usually at home with the child while the other works or does other things, this parent is likely to perform more caretaking functions by default. 
  • Providing moral guidance - This simply means teaching your child right from wrong. It might include teaching a younger child how to share nicely with his friends or teaching an older child what is or is not considered cheating at school. 
  • Feeding the children - Ensuring that your child eats healthy, balanced meals - or at least eats something if she is little and a picky eater - is part of a parent’s caretaking responsibility. 

These are only a few examples of caretaking functions parents perform.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Child Custody Lawyer 

Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you show the court which caretaking functions you perform for your children. Our dedicated Wheaton, IL child custody attorneys can often prevent litigation through collaborative law. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.

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