DuPage County Child Custody Lawyers
Attorneys for Sole Custody and Joint Custody in St. Charles, Naperville, and Lombard
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we have over 40 years of experience representing clients in divorce cases in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Our award-winning lawyers have in-depth knowledge of even highly complex divorces that involve challenging issues such as property and asset division, debt division, bankruptcy, tax consequences, arranged marriages, stay-at-home parents, special needs children, and many others. Our attorneys are honest, compassionate, approachable, and accessible. Our clients appreciate our down to earth approach and our commitment to aggressively advocate for their interests.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody in Illinois
While Illinois law once referred to legal and physical custody of children, and sole custody or joint custody arrangements were used when appropriate, the state's laws no longer use the terms "custody" or "visitation." Instead, these have been replaced with "allocation of parental responsibilities" and "parenting time." Under the current laws, divorced parents will typically share in the responsibility of raising children, although there may be situations in which one parent is solely responsible for making child-related decisions. Likewise, each parent will typically have the right to reasonable parenting time with their children.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time
Rather than a choice between granting sole custody to one parent or having parents share joint custody, courts in Illinois now have a broader spectrum of options available. The law identifies four areas of decision-making responsibility (education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities), each of which may be shared equally by parents or allocated solely to one parent. This ensures that divorced parents will continue to be able to make decisions about their children in a manner similar to how they handled these matters during their marriage.
In addition, Illinois law does not recognize one parent as the "custodial" parent or grant "visitation" to a "non-custodial" parent. Instead, parenting time is divided between parents, and even if parental responsibility is solely allocated to one parent, the other parent will still have the right to have reasonable parenting time with their children. In most cases, the parent who has the majority of the parenting time will receive child support payments from the other parent.
Ultimately, the best arrangements for parental responsibility and parenting time will depend on the unique dynamics of each family. The court will consider several factors when making decisions in these matters, and a judge's determinations are based on what is in the children's best interests. Ideally, parents will be able to work together to create a parenting plan that describes how parental responsibilities will be allocated, defines day-to-day parenting time schedules, and addresses how any disputes between the parents will be resolved.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, our attorneys are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. We thoroughly discuss each case with our clients to decide the best course of action based on their specific needs. We will help you understand your parental rights, and we will strongly advocate for your children's best interests when negotiating a settlement or arguing your case in court. For a free initial consultation, contact us today at 630-932-9100630-932-9100.