Child custody can be a concern for Illinois families in a wide array of situations. While many think of it as a divorce issue, in fact, questions can arise for a number of reasons unique to a particular family.
Illinois fathers of young children often dread divorce for many reasons. One is the fear that they may lose custody over and access to their children. There is a reason why so many unhappy marriages have stayed together ostensibly for the sake of the children, after all. However, there is an increasing preference by child development experts and even family courts for shared parenting and joint custody.
When a person in Illinois decides it is necessary to get custody of a sibling, there may be several obstacles in place. One will be proving to a court that the child is experiencing abuse or neglect and should be removed from the biological parents. Another will be convincing the court that a brother or sister is the best placement for the child. The person must demonstrate an ability to care for the child in a stable environment.
Illinois parents of minor children may have heard of a concept called nesting. In this type of an arrangement, divorced parents take turns living in the marital home. This allows the child to stay in a familiar environment while being able to spend time with both parents after they have divorced. In most cases, parents will rent a home or apartment to occupy when they are not living with the child.
Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce and who have primary physical custody may wonder if they can prevent the other parent from contacting their child via text, phone or video call. In general, as long as the other parent has some custodial rights, this is not permitted. If a parent attempts to do so, the noncustodial parent may be able to take legal action.
Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce might find that the child involved might want to live with the non-custodial parent. While this is not an issue if the parents negotiate an agreement outside of court and are both comfortable with the move, if there is a custody order, a child's wishes might not be enough to change it.
Illinois parents who are getting divorced will also have to deal with deciding child custody issues. While for some parents this can be an amicable negotiation with shared custody as a result, for others, the dispute might become more complicated and end up in court. This is particularly true when parents decide they want to go for primary or sole physical custody of their children.
Divorce is never easy for Illinois couples. It may be even more difficult for parents who are ending their marriage. It is critical that parents make sure that their divorce puts a focus on the needs of their children as much as it focuses on their own needs. Most importantly, children need and want to hear that they are cared for and loved.
Most Illinois parents who have young children and who are ending their marriage are able to resolve child custody matters on their own. A parenting agreement may be created through informal talks between the parents themselves or with the assistance of their attorneys. Mediation sessions may also be valuable in helping parents resolve child custody matters without going to court.
When it comes to deciding who an Illinois child should reside with and how long a child visits a non-custodial parent, the determination is made by the court if the parents are unable to agree. The terms are typically based upon the likelihood of the child being able to thrive better with one parent vs the other.