Significant Changes to Child Custody Laws in Illinois - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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Significant Changes to Child Custody Laws in Illinois

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child custody law changes, DuPage County family law attorneyOf all the provisions under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act (IMDMA), child custody laws are probably the most significantly altered under Senate Bill 57. Brought into effect on January 1, 2016, these changes are meant to dispel ugly feuds between divorcing parents and, instead, place more emphasis on what is truly best for the child. If you are planning on filing for divorce or have already started the process, it is important to understand these new changes and how they may affect the life of you and your children.

Child "Custody" No Longer Used

Under Senate Bill 57, the term "custody" is no longer applicable. Other terms, such as "visitation," "joint custody," and "sole custody" have also been removed. Instead, parents are provided with legal decision-making rights and allotted parenting time (the amount of time a parent spends with their child). All of these determinations are based upon what is considered to be the child’s best interest.

Determination of Parenting Time and Decision-Making Responsibility

Determining the best interest of the child is not always easy or straightforward. However, there are specific considerations that are made by the courts. Outlined by Illinois state law, these considerations include:

  • Wishes and needs of the child;
  • Wishes of each parent;
  • Development of the child’s identity;
  • Any prior arrangements or agreements made between the parents;
  • Distance between both locations;
  • Community ties and support, including those found in school, church, or friends;
  • Each parent’s desire and ability to cooperate and encourage a continued close relationship with the other parent;
  • Family history, including any issues with domestic violence, substance abuse, or convictions as a sex offender;
  • Mental, physical, and emotional health of all individuals, including parents, siblings, and the child for which the determination is being made;
  • The amount of time each parent has spent caring for the child over the previous two years; and
  • Any other types of interaction with parents or other siblings that may affect the child’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being.

Seek Assistance for Your Child Custody Case

The goal of Senate Bill 57 is to ensure that fair and equal judgements are made in regard to parenting time and decision-making. However, there are often considerations that go unnoticed, particularly in cases that involve a history of domestic abuse, substance abuse, or sexual abuse. Alternatively, unfounded allegations made out of anger or revenge must be handled swiftly and effectively. Regardless of the situation, a skilled and experienced divorce attorney can help.

At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we understand the complex issues that often surround child custody cases. As such, we provide experience and aggressive advocacy to our clients. If necessary, we will even seek out the assistance of health care professionals, psychologists, and other experts to ensure the best interests of your child or children are considered. To learn more about our compassionate and comprehensive services, call 630-932-9100 and schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County child custody attorney today.

Sources:

http://chicagotribune.com/suburbs/evanston/lifestyles/ct-evr-love-essentially-tl-0218-20160210-column.html

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/best_interest.pdf

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