We know that custody can be one of the most contentious and emotional issues. Issues such as where your child lives and who is responsible for your child has the potential to impact your child’s safety and your relationship with them.
Some parents worry that there may be bias within the court system towards awarding custody to the mothers, but in reality, this is an issue of the past. When deciding custody matters, Illinois courts always take into account the best interest of the child in regards to custody matters, looking at all the intimate details of each specific case.
Learn more below about how our team of attorneys at Diamond Divorce Law can work with you to create the best custody arrangement for your family.
Custody in Illinois
The term “custody” is no longer used in Illinois law. This term has been replaced with “parental responsibilities,” broken into two major categories:
- Decision-Making: allocation of who gets to make decisions on things such as: education, religion, health care and extracurricular activities.
- Parenting Time: the time spent with one parent or the other (formerly known as “visitation”).
Illinois law frequently dictates that married parents share decision-making and parenting time of their children while they are married. If the parents are unmarried, the mother usually has sole legal and residential custody of the child until a finding of paternity is made.
Any of these things can be modified by a court order. Before making any assumptions about what Illinois law dictates, it is always best to check to see if there are any existing court orders.
Because each case can be vastly different, we highly recommend retaining the services of an experienced Illinois child custody attorney to help you through this process.
What if there are disagreements between the parents?
If you and your spouse can agree, your lawyers will draft an Allocation Judgement to decide all the parenting decisions, including:
- Parenting time (visitation)
- Holiday time
- What to do in case of disputes
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, mediation will be required. Sometimes mediation works to resolve all disputed issues.
If mediation does not resolve all the disputed issues, then the judge will have to be the one to make the final decisions about parental responsibilities. In this case, the judge will consider things like:
- The wishes of each parent
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The distance between the parents’ residences
- The child’s relationship to the community, including home and school
- The child’s wishes (depending on the child’s age and emotional development)
- Whether each parent encourages the relationship with the other parent
- Any ongoing and/or repeated abuse or domestic violence
- Whether either parent is a sex offender
We know that divorce and child custody issues can be overwhelming -- sometimes you don’t know where to start and it can be hard to see a path forward.
There are a million different ways people can lose money during a divorce. At Diamond Divorce Law, we listen, we return phone calls, and our entire team is here to help make sure each and every client gets the support and resources they deserve.