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Among all the issues in an Illinois divorce proceeding, those surrounding child custody are often the most emotional. They are also often the hardest fought. For this reason, it pays to have an aggressive and experienced Chicago divorce attorney in your corner from the very beginning. At the Chicago-based divorce law firm Taradash Given, P.C., our clients’ needs are put first and foremost. We understand how difficult it can be to fight a custody battle with an ex-spouse, and we are confident that we can serve you throughout the process by making your case for custody as strong as possible.
Custody, in a nutshell, means “decision making power.” The major decisions that parents can make deal with schooling, medical decisions and religious upbringing. Either one parent has the power to make these major decisions solely or the parents must make such decisions for their children jointly. There is a presumption in Illinois law that “the maximum involvement and cooperation of both parents regarding the physical, mental, moral and emotional well-being of their child is the best interests of the child.” Generally speaking, a court will issue an award of joint custody, unless the court deems that joint custody is not in the best interest of the child. If the court feels that joint custody is not in the best interests of the children, then the court will award custody to one of the parents.
Physical custody may also be joint in nature. If so, the child will spend significant time with each parent. However, joint physical custody is not a requirement to joint legal custody. It is important to note that joint custody arrangements are not for every couple. Because this arrangement requires that the parents communicate well and work together to raise the child, the parents need to be able to do so effectively. If the court believes that the parents cannot or will not work together, it may determine sole custody is in the best interest of the child.
If the court determines that it is in the best interest of the child to have one parent retain sole custody, then the court will implement a sole custody order. This will leave the other parent with a right to visitation. However, this right to visitation is not absolute, and visitation may be revoked if visitation is harmful to the child’s mental, emotional, or physical health.
In sole custody arrangements, the parent with sole custody makes all the decisions in the child’s life, including where the child goes to school, major medical decisions, and the child’s religion.
If you are currently involved in an Illinois divorce proceeding and the custody of children is involved, you should immediately speak to an experienced Chicago divorce attorney. The court’s custody decision will rest solely on what is in the best interest of the child or children. Therefore, it is important to put your best foot forward from the very beginning of the process. The Chicago family law firm of Taradash Given, P.C. is skilled in handling custody matters and will work diligently to secure a child custody order that favors our clients and their children. Taradash Given, P.C. serves families throughout Cook, Will, DuPage, and Lake Counties. Contact us online, or call (312) 775-1020 to speak to an experienced lawyer today.