Court considerations when making decisions in matters of child custody
When deciding a case related to child custody or visitation in Chicago as well as the surrounding municipalities of Cook, Lake, DuPage and McHenry counties in Illinois, there are many factors the court may take into consideration. The court’s main concern is always to protect and promote what would be the most beneficial outcome for the children. The “Best Interest of the Child” will always be the most important factor in any custody or visitation case.
What is in a child’s best interest may not always be apparent or easily determined. Additionally, the difference between joint and sole legal custody may be unclear and can make some cases more complex than others. In these situations, an experienced Child Custody Lawyer that is familiar with Illinois law and the court systems in Cook, Lake, DuPage and McHenry counties can explain the process and guide you through to a favorable outcome.
When a child custody case is brought to the court, the court will try to accommodate the best interest of the child and choose the environment that offers the most stability. Some of the factors the court will take into consideration in an Illinois child custody case are:
- Age of the child and current health status
- The desires of the parents
- Child’s preference (depending on age)
- Parents mental and physical health
- Emotional bonds between parents and children
- Who has been the primary parent
- The amount of time each parent commits to the children
- History of violence or substance abuse
- Current living conditions
- Current employment of each parent
- The ability of each parent to properly care for the child
Child Custody Agreements – an attempt to approximate a normal routine
In an effort to ensure that the children are affected as little as possible, the court will attempt to achieve and maintain an environment that most closely approximates the pre-divorce routine. It is the goal of the court to make the custody arrangement as close to normal, or as close to the situation that existed prior to the parties filing for divorce.
What if you are unable to reach a Child Custody Agreement?
Effective child custody agreements are best reached when parents work together cooperatively to develop a parenting plan that meets the needs of all parties involved.
In the event that the parties cannot reach a child custody agreement, the court will make a temporary decision with respect to custody based on specific guidelines. Additionally, the court may also order a Child Custody Evaluation. This evaluation usually consists of interviews, psychological exams and analysis of the children, and perhaps the parents. The goal of the evaluator is to make a determination of the best interests of the child.
The Courts tend to give serious consideration to the recommendations of the evaluator. A Chicago Child Custody Attorney from Hoffenberg and Block LLC can explain the process custody evaluations and answer your child custody questions.
It is important for you to fight for the best possible custody arrangement early on in the divorce process, since it is likely that these temporary custody orders may have a significant affect on the permanent custody orders.
I need help with a Child Custody matter, what is my next step?
If you are a parent who is going through a divorce and need help securing custody of your children or are trying to take action against an ex-spouse because they are disregarding a previous custody agreement, a Chicago Child Custody Lawyer from Hoffenberg and Block LLC can help you. Illinois Super Lawyers Alan D. Hoffenberg and Gloria E. Block have over 80 years of combined legal experience, are well versed in Illinois child custody law and frequently handle situations involving custody disputes, modification and enforcements.
To learn more about Child Custody and what legal options may be best for you, contact Hoffenberg and Block today at 312-853-800 and find out more about the child custody and visitation services we provide to clients in Chicago, including Cook, Lake, DuPage and McHenry Counties in Illinois.