Child Custody (Parental Responsibility)
In any Illinois divorce proceeding, there is little that is more contentious and emotional than matters of child custody. Not only is it important to determine which parent will have primary custody, but also to establish the roles of each parent moving forward in the child’s life. In any custody matter, it is critically important to have a reputable and dedicated Chicago child custody attorney at your side to represent you and your child’s interests. The law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C. serves Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, and other areas, and has the experience and dedication you need to be confident in any child custody matter.Determining Child Custody in Illinois Divorce Proceedings
In Illinois, the number one criterion in determining child custody matters is what is in the best interests of the child. Generally speaking, a court will consider a multitude of factors when determining what is in the best interest of the children, including:
- What the child’s wishes are;
- The child’s relationship with each of the parents;
- Whether either parent is an active military service member;
- The parents’ wishes;
- The physical and mental health of the parents and the child;
- The parents’ willingness to foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent;
- The child’s adjustment to the home, school, and community where he/she currently resides;
- Any witness testimony that may illuminate the child’s relationship with either of the parents.
After considering these factors, the judge can order either joint or sole custody.Custody Arrangements in Illinois
In Illinois, courts prefer to implement a joint custody arrangement, so long as it is in the best interests of the child. One of the underlying goals of Illinois law is to secure the maximum involvement and cooperation of both parents regarding the well being of the children. If the court does order joint custody, each parent must sign a Joint Parenting Agreement that outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities. As a part of the joint custody arrangement, each parent must also agree to arbitrate any disputes that arise from the custody agreement.
If the court determines that joint custody is not appropriate, then the court will order sole custody in favor of one parent. If this is the case, the other parent will have a right to visitation, so long as visitation does not seriously jeopardize the child’s physical, mental, or emotional well-being. Visitation rights can vary, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, custody orders can be modified after two years if there is a significant change in circumstances.Are You Involved in a Custody Issue?
If you are currently involved in an Illinois custody issue, be sure to retain the services of an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer as soon as possible. Custody orders cannot be modified for the first two years of their creation, so it is important to make a good case for custody of your children from the very beginning. The family law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C. is a reputable and dedicated Illinois family law firm serving clients throughout the state. Click here, or call (312) 775-1020 to contact an experienced attorney, and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case today.