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Child Custody Attorney By Me

Child Custody Attorney By Me

Child custody matters can be emotionally draining and stressful for many couples. At SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, we understand the strain that many families go through during this time and so dedicate ourselves to relieving our clients of some of their burdens by aggressively representing their interests and the interests of their children, whether during collaboration or in the courtroom. Navigating the legal system can be time-consuming and difficult, especially when there is so much at stake, so if you are considering a divorce and have children, it is critical to contact an experienced Cook County child custody attorney who can explain your legal options.

Allocating Time and Responsibility

In Illinois, child custody is divided into two parts, parenting time and parental responsibility. While the term parenting time refers physical custody, or the time that a child actually spends with each parent, parental responsibility describes who has the right to make important decisions for the child. These decision-making responsibilities usually include determining:

  • Where the child goes to school;
  • Where and how the child receives medical, dental, and psychological treatment;
  • Where and when the child attends religious services; and
  • Whether a child participates in extracurricular activities.

Best Interests of the Child

Until recently, courts often designated a parent as having sole custody or both parents as having joint custody. However, recent amendments did away with those terms and courts are instead directed to focus more on what division of time and responsibility is in the best interests of the child, which includes an evaluation of the following factors:

  • The wishes of the child (taking into account the child’s maturity);
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of the child and both parents;
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate when making decisions;
  • The level of conflict between the parties;
  • The level of each parent’s participation in past decision-making;
  • Any prior arrangement between the parties relating to decision-making;
  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The distance between the parent’s residences;
  • Each parent’s willingness to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence in the family; and
  • Other relevant factors.

When parents are unable to reach an out-of-court custody agreement, the court will craft an arrangement on their behalf. Unfortunately, this takes a significant amount of power out of the hands of the parents, who are required to abide by the terms set by a judge.  

Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today

Each family is unique, so each custody agreement will also be different. Unfortunately, courts are not always able to identify or weigh the nuances of a relationship when making a custody determination. For this reason, it is often in the best interests of the parties to attempt to reach an out-of-court custody agreement. If you are considering a divorce and live in Cook County, please contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 to schedule a free consultation with experienced child custody attorney, Susan A. Marks, today.

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