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Five Things Illinois Courts Consider During Custody Cases

Posted on in Family Law

shutterstock_339672179-min.jpgCreating a new parenting agreement or modifying an old one can be a difficult task that requires parents to set realistic expectations and understand how Illinois family law works. In Illinois, child custody is divided into two parts: allocation of parental responsibilities, meaning important decision-making authority, and parenting time, meaning the time children physically or electronically spend with each parent.

Although parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan that they both agree on, if they are unable to cooperate, courts may intervene. If you are facing a disputed custody case in Illinois, here are five of the most important factors Illinois family courts will look at.

The Child’s Best Interests

The primary consideration of Illinois family courts is whether any particular arrangement would be in the best interests of the child. Although this is a somewhat vague term, it is a benchmark against which all other considerations can be tested. Even if a child says he or she wishes to spend all their time with one parent, the courts must consider the child’s maturity and relevant psychological research to determine whether such a request would be in the child’s best long-term interests.

Each Parent’s Preferences

Most parents want to spend time with their children and make decisions about their welfare. Courts can consider what each parent prefers, including their regular work schedules, holiday schedule preferences, and why they believe their preferences would be best.

The Child’s Relationships with Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, and Stepparents

Some parents have other family members who are very involved in a child’s life. If a child is very close to his extended family and has spent a lot of time with them in the past, a court may be reluctant to agree to an arrangement that reduces the time the child can spend with his extended family.

Previous Custody Arrangements

Courts often wish to preserve, at least in part, the status quo. Disruption and moving are difficult on children, and if past parenting time and parental responsibilities arrangements have worked well, courts may be reluctant to change things. They may grant one parent more parenting time, but only if the benefits of spending more time with that parent would outweigh any disruption caused to the child.

Parents’ Ability to Cooperate

Parental conflict can be very damaging to young children. If parents are otherwise equally prepared to provide a nurturing home environment for a child but they cannot contact each other without descending into serious conflict to which the child would be exposed, a court may limit a child’s time with a parent or the frequency of transferring back and forth between parents.

Meet with a Bloomingdale, IL Child Custody Lawyer

If you are getting divorced or pursuing a modification in parental responsibilities or parenting time, it is important to understand what factors Illinois courts consider when making decisions about child custody cases. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, our DuPage County child custody attorneys put our clients first, including working hard to inform our clients and advocating passionately on their behalf. To learn more about Illinois family law, schedule a free initial consultation by calling our offices today at 630-932-9100.

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000

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