When parents are divorced or not currently in a relationship, there are certain legal questions that need to be resolved with respect to any common minor children. Illinois law requires parents to try and come to an agreement regarding custody matters. But when that proves impossible, a court will have to decide what is in the best interests of the child.
At the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, our experienced Rolling Meadows child custody attorneys can represent you in negotiating or litigating these matters. We represent both mothers and fathers throughout Cook County who are only trying to do right by their children. We also understand that the ultimate goal of resolving a child custody dispute is not to “win at all costs” but rather to ensure both parents are able to maintain a healthy, stable relationship with their children moving forward.
In cases where both parents agree on how to allocate parental responsibilities between them, they can submit a proposed parenting plan to an Illinois judge for approval. If the parents are unable to agree, the court can order both sides into mediation. The goal of mediation is not to force a settlement. The mediator’s role is to facilitate an open and honest discussion between the parents. And if mediation fails to lead to an agreement on a parenting plan, it is then left to the judge to decide custody and related issues, such as child support.
In deciding child custody cases, Cook County judges must look at a number of factors, including but not limited to:
Child custody in Illinois consists of both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means the parent has the legal authority to make basic decisions about the child’s care and upbringing. Physical custody–also known as parenting time–refers to how much time the child spends in the direct care of a parent. A court can award legal custody to one or both parents. Similarly, the parents may share parenting time even if the child spends most nights with one parent.
Many parents worry that if they get a divorce, they will lose custody or access to their children. But the law is designed to promote healthy parent-child relationships whenever possible. And by working with a qualified child custody attorney in Rolling Meadows, you can help to ensure that you go into this process fully informed and ready to assert your rights as a parent. If you need to speak with a lawyer about child custody or any related subject, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule an initial consultation.