One of the most common questions that parents have when they are involved in a divorce is, “How will the court decide custody of my kids?” While there are many situations where the parents can agree on a parenting plan that sets forth who the children will live with, who will make major decisions affecting the children, and so forth, in some situations, it is necessary for a judge to make that call. And under Illinois law, the legal standard is what is in the best interest of the child–not necessarily what is best for either parent.
An experienced Palatine child custody lawyer can advise and represent you during this process. At the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, we have helped many Cook County parents in navigating the often complex rules used to establish child custody and visitation rights in Illinois. We know this is an emotionally sensitive time for you and your family, which is why we strive to offer compassionate legal service that takes all of your facts and circumstances into account.
Anytime that married parents seek a divorce, Illinois law requires them to submit a parenting plan to the court. Ideally, the parents agree on a plan and submit one jointly. Otherwise, each parent will submit their own plan to the court, which will then make a final determination based on the child’s best interests.
There is no single factor that decides what is a child’s “best interest.” Instead, the law mandates the judge consider any relevant factor, including but not limited to:
After taking all relevant factors into account, the court must allocate both parental responsibilities and parenting time. In Illinois, legal custody is called “allocation of parental responsibilities.” This describes which parent will make key decisions regarding the child, such as where they will attend school. “Parenting time” refers to how much time the child will actually live with each parent.
Even when parents are in broad agreement as to how to raise their children following a divorce, there are still a number of legal issues that must be properly understood and addressed. There are also times when one parent may need to seek a modification of an existing parenting plan due to a change in circumstances, such as the need to relocate for career opportunities. We can advise you on all of these issues and more. So if you need to speak with a skilled child custody lawyer in Palatine, Illinois, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule a consultation.