The Newest Factors that Can Affect Child Custody in Court - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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The Newest Factors that Can Affect Child Custody in Court

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child custody in court, DuPage County family law attorneysLegal and physical child custody generally hinges on the decisions of a court. A court will listen to both parents and the relationship that each has with his or her child in question, and will additionally balance a variety of family factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

The Best Interest of the Child in Illinois

The following are several factors that a court will weigh and assess in determining what type of custody arrangement is in the best interest of a child:

  • The ideal arrangement for each parent;
  • The ideal arrangement based on a child’s wishes;
  • The relationship and interaction between and among a child, his/her siblings, each individual parent, and any other relative who interacts with the child;
  • The extent in which the custody arrangement will alter a child’s daily routine or lifestyle;
  • The extent in which the custody arrangement may impact the mental and physical health of a child;
  • If there is any past abuse or misconduct (or threat of abuse or misconduct) between a child and a custodial/non-custodial parent.

Joint Child Custody

Joint child custody is considered, in the eyes of the state, the gold standard. If both parents can be involved, that is usually in the best interests of a child. Before granting joint child custody, a court does take into consideration the following factors:

  • The ability of each parent to cooperate and agree on the best parenting plan for each child;
  • The residential and financial lifestyle of each parent; and
  • If there is any history of past abuse or misconduct which would make it dangerous for a child to be in contact with either parent or an acquaintance of either parent.

The Effect that Social Media Sites Have on Custody Arrangements

With the increased use of technology and social media, courts have been taking into consideration other factors: each parent’s presence and behavior on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Recently, there have been quite a few cases where misconduct and certain behavior that a parent has exhibited on social media websites has seriously impacted the legal and physical custody arrangement previously made.

In one case, a parent tricked his ex-spouse into exchanging lewd and lascivious videos on Facebook (the eight-year-old child served as cameraman of the videos) and introduced the videos as evidence of neglect and abuse of the child. Ultimately, the endangering of the child on both the part of the ex-wife who requested her child to tape the videos, and the ex-husband who had tricked the wife into taping the videos in the first place, forced the court to revoke custody of the child from both the ex-spouses and place the child in custody with a third party.

In another case, one parent who had posted terrible things about her child on Facebook had that post used as evidence to revoke her custody rights. Clearly, social media is having a significantly negative impact on custody rights and the best interest of the child.

The Other New Factor: How Much of a “Helicopter-Parent” Are You?

So what has been found to help your custody case? Ultimately, showing evidence of being a “helicopter-parent” is extremely useful.

A “helicopter-parent” is a coined term for a parent who intensely hovers around his or her children and smothers his or her children with surveillance. A recent study has shown that judges are more likely to grant custody to parents who can show evidence of them being “obsessive, helicopter-parents.”

The following are qualities of a “helicopter-parent” in the eyes of the court:

  • Parents who know the name of their child’s teachers or friends;
  • Parents who attend classes with their child; and
  • Parents who coach their child’s sport team.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County

These are just some of the newest factors taken into consideration in child custody cases. Child custody and the best interest of the child analysis is one that can be highly subjective and determined by a court. It is important to not only put your best evidence (and foot) forward, but also to have an experienced family law attorney by your side. The family law attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help guide you through the child custody negotiations. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.

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