What Matters Most in an Illinois Child Custody Case?
Going through a divorce is a highly emotional life event, especially when children are involved. Unfortunately, when both parents cannot reach an agreement regarding child custody, then litigation is often the only way to go. In Illinois, it’s important to remember that the courts will consider what is in the best interest of the child. The court will hear both sides of the custody case and evaluate the following factors:
- Parents’ wishes
- Child’s preference
- Mental and physical health of all involved
- Child’s relationship with her parents and other who affect the child’s best interest
- Child’s adjustment to his home, school and community
- The child’s home, school, and community involvement
- Willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate relationship between the child and other parent
- Exercised visitation rights of either parent
- Physical violence or threat of physical violence
- History of abuse by potential custodian against the child or anyone else
- Whether one of the parent’s is a sex offender
Depending on the unique circumstances of the case, the state of Illinois will grant either joint custody or sole custody.
Joint custody gives both parents the right to make decisions on behalf of the child, and any major decisions cannot be made without the agreement of both parents. State law requires that a joint parenting agreement sets forth the shared decision making process and a means of dispute resolutions.
Sole custody, on the other hand, awards one parent the right to make all important decisions for the child, including living location, school choice, medical care, and religious upbringing.
Sometimes parents go into a custody hearing seeking to win custody, believing that the other parent is “unfit” to raise their child. From a judge’s standpoint, parents should refrain from any negativity and instead focus on why they are better suited for custody, instead of attacking his or her counterpart.
If you have any questions at all regarding child custody, contact the family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP in Chicago. We understand the complex challenges involved with a divorce and custody issues. Call us at (312) 332-2915 to help guide you through this tough period.
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Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
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