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