Will County, Illinois Child Custody Attorneys
Parenting Plan Lawyers Serving Bolingbrook, Plainfield and Mokena
Divorce can be significantly more difficult for couples who have children. However, ending a marriage should not affect parental rights and responsibilities. One of the most important decisions in the divorce process is how the children will be raised and supported following the split. However, determinations regarding child custody and child support can sometimes be the most complicated and contentious in the divorce process. Therefore, it is highly important for you to have an experienced Joliet child custody attorney working to preserve your parental rights and your relationship with your children.
Custody Standards in Will County, Illinois
There are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the child’s living arrangement. In many cases, the child lives primarily with one parent who has sole physical custody, while the other parent has visitation rights. However, the court may award joint physical custody if it is feasible and not too stressful on the child.
Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about how the child is raised. Such decisions include medical care, religion, and education. The parents do not have to have physical custody of the child to have the right to make decisions for his or her upbringing. Illinois courts favor awarding joint legal custody whenever possible. When joint legal custody is awarded, the parties will have to sign a Joint Parenting Agreement to make clear each person’s parental responsibilities and rights. This agreement also aims to limit future disagreements over child-rearing.
The basic standard for child custody determinations in Illinois is in the best interests of the child. In deciding the best interests of the child, the court will examine the following factors, among others:
- The wishes of the parents.
- Child’s relationship with each parent, and each parent’s desire to continue to foster a healthy relationship.
- Each parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship with the other parent.
- The child’s wishes, if the child is of the proper age and maturity to appreciate the situation.
- Physical and mental health of the parents.
- Physical and mental health and any special needs of the child.
- The child’s ability to adjust to a new home, community, or school.
- Whether either parent is an active member of the armed services.
- Any history of domestic violence of either parent.
- Any history of sex, DUI, or drug offenses of either parent.
Updates to Divorce Laws in 2016
Recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act have updated the approach to child custody and parenting authority throughout the state. Going forward, orders will no longer be categorized as sole custody or joint custody; instead, parental responsbilities will be allocated between the parents in a manner that suits each indvidual situation. Similarly, the amended law also eliminated the titles of custodial and non-custodial parent, so as to reduce a common point of contention for many parents. Existing orders will still contain custody provisions as set forth in the previous version of the law until they are reviewed and modified in accordance with the new statutes.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Will County, IL
As you may imagine, child custody determinations can be very complicated and based on many factors. You never want to risk losing the right to see your children or make decisions about their lives. Therefore, if you are facing a potential child custody dispute, it is important to have an attorney from the Mevorah Law Offices LLC on your side to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Will County.