Child custody is one of the most contentious areas of family law, and it makes sense to work with a child custody lawyer who understands the importance of preserving your rights as a parent. Your children deserve to have someone fighting for their best interests every step of the way, from custody and visitation (now called allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time) to child support.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Chicago
Illinois law now classifies custody as allocation of parental responsibilities. It’s similar to the concepts of sole and joint custody. Parties still have the option to share parental responsibilities, such as decision making surrounding issues of education, medical care, religion and extracurricular activities.
Custody Agreements and Visitation Rights
Most parents work together in the best interests of their children to work out parenting agreements. When parents can’t agree, judges will step in and decide. Although judges are required to put the best interests of the children first, nobody knows your family like you do – and Stephanie Charles, Chicago divorce attorney will encourage you to reach an agreement with the other parent so your children get the best possible outcome.
However, some parents will never see eye-to-eye.
In that case, you need a child custody lawyer in your corner; someone who can help preserve your parental rights and who’s willing to fight for what’s best for your children.
Courts and Child Custody
When the court must rule on child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities), the judge’s primary concern is serving each child’s best interests. The judge can consider:
- The child’s age
- Each parent’s living situation
- Each parent’s ability to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent
- The child’s family ties to each parent, siblings and other relatives
- The child’s preference, if he or she is old enough
- Maintaining the status quo and preventing disruption in the child’s life
- Whether there has been abuse or neglect
- Whether one parent abuses alcohol or drugs
- Any other factor that may be helpful or relevant
Although judges are primarily concerned with your children’s well-being and what’s best for them, it’s very important that you and your ex-spouse try to work out a custody agreement that’s fair to all of you before asking the court to decide. You know your family best, and you’re the best-qualified people to make these important decisions for your children. Your attorney may even suggest mediation, which can help you and your ex find middle ground.
Work With a Child Custody Lawyer Who Cares
You and your children deserve a fair, reasonable and practical outcome, and I can help make that happen. Whether you need help negotiating a shared parenting (formerly joint custody) agreement with your spouse or circumstances dictate that you need sole decision-making powers regarding your children call me at 312-818-5279 for a consultation today.