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Family Law Child Custody and Parenting Time

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Child Custody and Parenting Time

Caring, Compassionate Child Custody Attorneys

As parents, the health and welfare of our children is our primary concern. For families going through a divorce, issues pertaining to child custody, now known as Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, and visitation, now known as Parenting Time, can be particularly volatile and among the most sensitive and stressful cases dealt with in the family court. At the SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, we understand how important these proceedings can be, and we work with you to ensure the safety and emotional development of the children involved. For the parents, getting the proper legal representation can make all the difference in maintaining a close and loving bond with their child. Our experienced child custody attorney offers caring, compassionate legal service with the goal of protecting your rights as a parent while ensuring your child’s best interests are provided for.

Trusted Legal Representation For Child Custody Matters

According to a report in Scientific American, as many as 1.5 million children are impacted by the divorce of their parents each year in the United States. While going through the initial process of divorce is traumatic for most children, the majority do recover provided that measures are taken to ensure that they get quality time to spend with both parents. At the SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, our child custody attorneys provide trusted, professional legal representation to assist you in handling the following types of situations related to child custody proceedings:

  • Division of Parental Responsibilities;
  • Development of Parenting Plans;
  • Establishing Paternity;
  • Child Custody and Parenting Time Modifications;
  • Legal Enforcement of Family Court Orders;
  • Cases Involving Domestic or Child Abuse;
  • Fathers’ Rights;
  • Mothers’ Rights.

Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody in Illinois

When parents in Illinois divorce, they are required to decide who their child will spend time with and when by devising a child custody plan. If the parents choose to leave the creation of this agreement up to the court, the court will determine custody according to the child’s best interests. To do this, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that the court will consider the following factors:

  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved
  • How the child has adjusted to life in their current home, school and community
  • The willingness of each parent to foster a loving relationship with their child
  • The wishes of the child
  • How the child interacts with their parents and their relationship with both their mother and father

Depending on all of these factors, the court will either award allocation of parental responsibilities to one parent or grant parenting time to both parents.

Awaiting a decision about child custody is often one of the most stressful aspects of the divorce process for parents. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, contact an attorney who can guide you throughout this emotionally trying time in your life.

Defending Your Custody Rights in Illinois

Under Illinois law, state courts are empowered to consider many different factors when coming to a child custody decision. Notably, there have been recent updates to the state’s legal code that affects child custody cases. In Illinois, courts have the ability to develop parenting plans, allocate parental time with a child, and grant or restrict a parent’s right to make certain decisions.

As a parent seeking to defend your child custody rights, whether for the first time or because your former partner is seeking a custody modification, it is critically important that you are fully aware of all of the factors that state family law courts will consider. This includes everything from:

  • Emotional ties between the parents and child;
  • The history of each parent;
  • The ability of each parent to provide basic financial support for the child;
  • The length of time the child has spent with the parents;
  • Overall moral, parental and mental health fitness;
  • The willingness of each parent to build a positive familial environment;
  • The schooling needs of the child; and
  • Depending on age, the wishes of the child.

There are two important things that you should take away from this list. First, in child custody cases, Illinois courts will make a comprehensive assessment of your situation. Courts can and will consider almost anything that they deem relevant to your ability as a parent. Additionally, all child custody cases are unique; there is no one size fits all solution. Defending child custody is a complex task. You need to work with a professional who will put the time and effort needed to give your case the individualized attention it deserves.

Knowledgeable Representation to Guide You Through Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Proceedings

If you are dealing with issues regarding your children after a divorce or facing a potentially contentious battle concerning child custody, it is important to be aware of recent changes regarding the laws governing these matters. Recent modifications to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) impact child custody matters in particular by changing both the language as well as the procedures for determining custody and parenting time rights. Under the new system, child custody is referred to as ‘division of parental responsibilities’ and, instead of awarding parenting time, the court oversees the development of parenting plans, allocating both time spent with the children as well as legal rights when it comes to making decisions about matters concerning the overall health, well-being, and development of the children. While these changes are enacted with an eye toward obtaining the best possible outcome for children involved with these cases and encouraging parental involvement, it is vitally important to have a strong legal advocate on your side to ensure your children’s best interests are being served. At the SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, Attorney Susan A. Marks and her associate attorneys oversee each case, and we have successfully represented hundreds of parents in these types of matters. Our attorneys are well-respected members of the legal community throughout the area, and are here to represent you when you need them most.

Effective, Efficient Legal Representation To Assist You In Child Custody Matters

If you or someone you care about has children and is contemplating a divorce, or is involved in child custody issues with the family court, contact the SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC. Our experienced child custody attorneys provide effective, efficient legal representation to protect your rights and interests as a parent, both now and in the future.

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