Family Law

Child Custody

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Oak Brook Child Custody Attorney Serving the Chicagoland Area

At Goodman Law Firm we routinely represent mothers and fathers in disputes over child custody, parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, paternity and child support.  Collectively these are some of the most contentious areas of family law because their resolution may have a lasting impact on the relationships of everyone involved.  For this reason, you need a skilled family law lawyer with experience in child custody issues to help you navigate the complexities of this sensitive area of family law.

Our Goal is Efficient and Effective Resolution

Our priority is to resolve your custody dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible given your circumstances while forcefully advocating for the best interests of you and your children.  With each custody matter our goals are:

  • To identify and isolate the disputed custody issues, whether it is decision-making authority, the allocation of parenting time, the payment or non-payment of child support or a multitude of custody issues.
  • To explain your legal options based on relevant Illinois custody and/or child support laws, our legal experience, and our insight into what a family law court might decide at trial.
  • To gather all evidence to support our legal theory including, relevant documents, and the anticipated testimony of any witnesses.
  • To build the strongest possible case based on our knowledge of Illinois custody law and the legal system.
  • To minimize the costs and stress of litigation and trial on you and your children by offering appropriate alternatives to traditional litigation such as collaborative law and mediation.
  • To generate creative settlement options geared towards your priorities and unique circumstances.

Child Custody in Illinois

In January 2016, the State of Illinois radically modified its child custody laws largely eliminating the concept of custody as it was previously understood.  The legislature hoped to eliminate custody battles that were common in divorce or when unmarried parents separated.  The concepts of joint custody, sole custody, legal custody, residential custody and split custody (phrases commonly understood by most couples) are now antiquated under Illinois law.  While the terminology may have changed, the fundamental questions that must be resolved remain:

  • How will major decisions for the children about health care, education, religion and extracurricular activities be made?
  • When will each parent spend time with the children?
  • How will parenting time be allocated on holidays and special occasions?

These questions (and more) must be addressed in a Parenting Plan before a divorce may be resolved.

Allocation of Parental Responsibility

Divorcing couples are now charged with the task of allocating significant decision-making authority for their children.  In practice, allocating significant decision-making is similar to determining custody.  The first task is to decide who will have significant decision-making authority for the children in the areas of education, religion, healthcare and extracurricular activities.  Significant decision-making authority may be shared equally (akin to joint custody) or may be one parent’s sole dominion (similar to sole custody).   However, it is also possible to break up significant decision-making authority allowing parents to share responsibility in some areas and/or give one parent exclusive control in other areas.  Routine decisions (i.e., when to eat dinner, what to feed the kids, when to go to bed) are allocated to the parent in possession of the child.

The Child’s Residence

Divorcing couples must designate a child’s primary residence for purposes of Section 602.10 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”).  The designation cannot be used in future litigation between the couple.  Typically, the child’s residence will be with the parent who has the majority of parenting time.

Parenting Time

Parenting time refers to the hours and days a child will spend with each parent individually and is similar in concept to visitation.  Either a divorcing couple or the court will implement a schedule that allocates parenting time on a weekly basis and considers holidays and special occasions.

Oak Brook Child Custody Lawyer

When your access to your children and ability to influence decisions affecting them are at stake, you need a skilled family law lawyer on your side to help protect your parental rights. Custody is an emotional and stressful subject for parents undergoing a divorce or a break-up.  It requires rational and careful thought.  You need an experienced and skilled attorney to help you get a fair parenting plan for you and your children.  At Goodman Law Firm, we represent mothers, fathers, custodial and non-custodial parents alike.  If you need help navigating a custody dispute, call our experienced Oak Brook child custody lawyer today to request a custody consultation.

We Are Strategic

Divorce may be clouding your thinking, but not ours. We think strategically about every decision in your case.

We Are Honest

A good outcome for you depends on a candid assessment of your situation. You can expect honest advice about your case at every step.

We Listen

Every client is unique. We’ll get to know you and together craft a plan designed around your specific needs and interests.

Feel Free to Ask a Question

We are here to answer any questions you may have about our legal services and how we can help with your family law problem.

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