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.
If the child custody dispute does end up going to court, parents need to be prepared and plan correctly so that their chances for success can improve. The first thing parents must understand is that the court will be concerned with the best interest of the children, which often means that both parents should have access to their children to continue developing their relationship. Additionally, parents must understand that their idea of a ‘good parent” is not necessarily the court’s idea, so a custody battle in court might end up with some surprising results.
To prepare for the battle, parents must take into account their presentation in court, including the way they dress for court dates, their behavior, and even the way they attempt to communicate with each other. They must also gather and present all relevant documentation to support their case. Even if they lose their bid for sole custody, they will usually be granted visitation rights and are encouraged to remain involved in their child’s life. For many parents, a clear, organized parenting plan is recommended so that all parties involved can know what to expect in the future.
As part of the preparation, parents who are involved in custody disputes might consult a family law attorney to guide them through the process. An attorney could also attempt to broker a negotiated agreement.