The divorce process can be stressful and can have a big impact on families, which is why it is imperative to keep the focus on the children and their best interests. The child custody process is designed to allocate responsibilities between the parents based on what is in the best interests of the child.
The best interests of the child standard is the standard that is used by family law courts to guide child custody decisions and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors the court may consider include: the child’s age; the child’s wishes and needs; which parent has provided the most care for the child; the child’s ties to their community; and other factors as well.
Child custody concerns may range from developing a child custody arrangement to modifying an existing arrangement. In Illinois, child custody is now referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities and encourages co-parenting and can be less rigid than physical and legal custody. The feelings of the child, however, are paramount and are the focus of any child custody arrangement. Parenting time and decision-making responsibilities will be determined under the newer process.
Child custody is important to everyone involved in a divorce, which is why family law resources are available to help parents address these concerns in a way that is best for everyone. How parental responsibilities will be allocated can be a top concern for parents and, as a result, they should know how to navigate the process. Experienced legal representation can be very helpful in the matter.