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Illinois child custody solutions are not one-size-fits-all

Illinois child custody solutions are not one-size-fits-all

Illinois family law courts are supposed to make child custody decisions based upon the best interests of the child, and every child has a unique set of interests. However, courts and attorneys sometimes try to push parents and their kids into a one-size-fits-all child custody and visitation schedule, with divorcing parents getting the kids every other weekend.

That schedule works well enough for some parents and some kids. For others, it creates difficulty. And for some kids, it’s a terrible idea.

An Illinois mother recently told a news reporter about how, when she was going through a divorce, the attorneys and the judge in her case tried to force her and her ex-husband into an every-other-weekend schedule despite the fact that her three oldest boys have autism and react poorly to any changes in routine. She said she tried to explain the problem to the others in the room, but they had a hard time understanding.

The incident left such an impression on her that she decided to go to law school to become a family lawyer. Law school isn’t easy for anyone, let alone a mother of seven children, some of whom have special needs. Still, she accomplished it and recently graduated from law school.

Child custody disputes can be some of the most emotionally difficult cases in family law. It can be hard to for parents who are not getting along with each other to put their personal differences aside when making decisions about how to share duties in different forms of joint custody.

But with the right help, Chicago parents can stand up for their own interests in a child custody dispute while also putting aside the personal grudges that get in the way of the most important task at hand. That task, of course, is finding a child custody arrangement that will support their children’s best interests. And it’s important to remember to tailor the arrangement to fit the child’s interests and not to try to do it the other way around.

Source:, “Mom of 7 gets law degree to help special needs kids like her own,” Jacoba Urist, May 15, 2013

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