Custody (Parental Responsibility) and a Parent's 'Bad' Acts

In divorce cases, one of the most hotly contested issues is custody. Parents will go to the ends of the earth to win a custody battle. In Illinois, courts determine custody based on what they consider to be the best interests of the children. This is the number one consideration. Although there are other factors the court will consider, when it’s all said and done, custody is decided on the best interests of the children standard. If you are in a custody dispute or are considering seeking custody of your children, call the attorneys at The Taradash Group, P.C. We have the resources and experience necessary to assist you in such an important endeavor.

Allegations of Bad Acts

In many cases, parents will start disparaging the other parent and accuse them of committing bad acts, including, but not limited to: drinking too much; drug use/abuse; cheating; and other depraved acts. Rather than building a bridge and demonstrating that they are a fit parent to be awarded custody, parents will resort to low blows, name calling and other juvenile and destructive behavior. The bottom line, however, is that judge’s simply do not care. Judge’s need for parents to show how ruling in their favor is what is ultimately best for the kids. Unless the children are put into some sort of jeopardy or are negatively impacted by the other parent’s behavior or actions, judge’s don’t want to hear it. The actions of the other parent must affect the children. The Illinois Supreme Court stated that the conduct of the parents is not to be considered unless it adversely affects the children. One parent may claim that the other parent is living with another person and therefore should not be awarded custody. Illinois courts, however, have ruled otherwise. Unless there is evidence that this relationship is negatively impacting the children, then once again, this is not a consideration for the judge. Also very often, one parent will accuse the other parent of drug use. Again, unless it can be shown that the use of drugs has an effect on the mental or physical health of that parent and his or her ability to effectively parent the kids, then courts will not consider this behavior.

Domestic violence and abuse, however, are factors that courts can, and will, consider in making a custody determination. Even if the children are not witnesses to the abuse, courts have ruled that the behavior by the abuser is sufficient in determining the children’s best interests.

Need Representation?

Custody cases have a tendency to become super messy and ugly. Parents will resort to hurtful, deceitful and sometimes downright vicious behavior to win a contested custody battle. It is vital to have an advocate on your side who knows the law and knows how to deal with such situations. If you are going through a contested custody case, then contact the attorneys at The Taradash Group, P.C. We represent people all over the state, including the greater Chicagoland area and Lake, DuPage and Will counties. Feel free to call us at (312) 775-1020 or click here for a free consultation.