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How Is Child Custody Determined?

HomeBlogChild CustodyHow Is Child Custody Determined?

If you have a parenting legal concern, you naturally want to know how the issue will be resolved by the court, and better understanding the factors it will take into consideration can help you better understand what you are up against. If this is the situation you find yourself in, the best way to protect your parental rights is by consulting with an experienced Oak Brook child custody attorney early in the process. 

Parental Responsibilities

The State of Illinois has retired the term child custody and has replaced it with parental responsibilities and parenting time, both of which are included in your parenting plan. Your parental responsibilities refer to decision-making power when it comes to making important, overarching parenting decisions, and parenting time refers to how you and your children’s other parent will divide your time with your shared children. Each of these addresses primary parental concerns, and whenever the court makes decisions of this magnitude, it bases them on the best interests of the children involved. 

Determining Your Children’s Best Interests

If you and your divorcing spouse are able to resolve your parenting concerns and arrangements between yourselves, the court is almost certain to include them in your parenting plan. If you run into a snag, however, you’ll need the court’s intervention, and the factors it will explore in determining what is in your children’s best interests can include all the following:

  • Each parent’s preferences
  • Each child’s preferences (if he or she is old enough and mature enough to articulate them and to weigh in on the matter)
  • Each child’s level of overall adjustment at home, at school, and within his or her community at large
  • The mental and physical health of each parent, of each child, and of anyone else who lives in the household
  • How the parents have made parenting decisions together in the past
  • Each parent’s ability to cooperate in the decision-making process and to keep animosity from affecting this ability
  • Each parent’s level of participation in making important decisions on behalf of the children
  • Each child’s unique needs
  • Each parent and each child’s daily schedule, the distance the parents live from one another, the cost and complication involved in transporting the children back and forth, and each parent’s willingness and capacity to cooperate with the arrangements in question.
  • Each parent’s willingness and capacity to facilitate and support the other parent’s ongoing relationship with the children  
  • Whether or not domestic abuse is a factor (including child abuse or neglect)
  • Whether either parent is identified as a sex offender
  • Any other factors the court finds relevant in the case at hand.  

You Need an Experienced Oak Brook Child Custody Attorney on Your Side

Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm in Oak Brook, Illinois, is a dedicated child custody attorney whose practice focuses on helping clients like you resolve their parenting concerns favorably. For more information about how we can help, please don’t wait to contact us today.

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