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How is Child Custody Determined in Illinois?

 Posted on June 27, 2023 in Family Law

Geneva Family Law AttorneyDivorce can be complicated, especially when kids are involved. In Illinois, the main priority of child custody laws is the well-being of the child. This post is here to give you more information about how child custody determinations work in Illinois.

Understanding Child Custody in Illinois

Child custody refers to the legal responsibility of caring for a child, including making decisions about their health, education, and daily routine. In Illinois, there are two types of custody arrangements: joint custody, where both parents share custody, and sole custody, where one parent has full custody.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifies that the "best interests of the child" principle is taken into consideration for all decisions related to child custody.

Factors Considered in Determining Child Custody

When deciding child custody in Illinois, the court considers various factors. These include the child's preferences (if they are old enough to express them), the mental and physical health of everyone involved, and the parents' ability to work together and make joint decisions.

When deciding custody, the court looks at how much each parent has been involved in important decision-making, any instances of violence or the threat of violence from either parent, each parent's willingness and ability to help maintain a strong relationship between the child and the other parent, and how well the child is doing at home, school, and in the community.

The Process of Determining Child Custody in Illinois

When determining child custody in Illinois, family courts assume that parents should have equal custody rights. If one parent does not agree with the arrangement, the court will consider what is in the best interest of the child to decide which arrangement is suitable.

Before deciding on child custody, the court will evaluate each parent's home environment and factor in all previous considerations. If the court cannot come to a satisfactory decision, it may be helpful to appoint a guardian ad litem or child attorney to represent the child's best interests during the proceedings.

In some cases, joint custody may be possible if both parents agree and abide by parenting plans and schedules. In such situations, the court may mediate to ensure both parents agree.

If a parent who does not have custody has a positive relationship with their children, the court may grant them visitation rights. These rights are decided using the same criteria as custody and can be modified if there are changes in the family situation.

Changing a Child Custody Order in Illinois

Once the court has issued a child custody order, either parent can petition for a change if circumstances warrant it. The court may modify an existing order based on several factors, such as changes in the family’s lifestyle or financial status, one or both parents' physical and mental health, and relocation to another state. Parents must provide evidence to support their request.

Contact a Geneva Child Custody Attorney

Child custody determination can be a complex process. Working with an Illinois family law divorce lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and that the court makes an informed decision in your child's best interests. Call Serrano Hanson at 630-844-8781 today to get started with your case.





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