A Brief Guide to Child Custody in Illinois

Illinois child custody lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, Child custody laws and proceedings in Illinois, as outlined by the General Assembly, involve a specific method for the courts to follow while determining which parent ultimately wins custody of the children. These child custody laws also outline specific rights for both parents.

It must be understood that Illinois family courts do not discriminate between the mother and the father on the basis of parental role or gender. Also, Illinois family courts do not consider joint custody the default option.

During custody-rights negotiations and proceedings, both sides are given a voice and a listening audience. The decision is ultimately centered on determining which custody agreement can provide a life that is in the child(ren)’s best interest.

Understanding Physical and Legal Custody

Illinois law discerns between two forms of custody: physical and legal. The former relates to the person with whom the child lives and where the child stays. A parent with legal custody, however, has authority over what schools the child attends, religious affiliation, medical insurance, counseling, and other important factors.

There is no standard outcome for determining which parent is awarded either of these forms of custody. Each case is different.

Location, Moving and Vacation

If a custody case is held in the state of Illinois, it can be assumed that the court has ruled the child(ren)’s home state as Illinois. As such, physical custody will be centered on keeping the child(ren) in the state. Plans to move out of the state can be challenged by the non-custodial parent and will be reviewed by the court.

 It is also the custodial parent’s obligation to inform the non-custodial parent, or his or her lawyer, of any plans to take the child(ren) on a vacation or trip. The non-custodial parent has the right to be made aware of the location of the trip and any contact information for both the custodial parent and the party.

The Right to Request Custody Modification

It is possible that a non-custodial parent might feel the welfare of the child is not being well managed in the other parent’s hands. It is within the non-custodial parent’s rights to request a modification of the custody ruling.

Courts generally wait two years before seriously reviewing requests for custody modification. This is, of course, if the child is not in immediate danger under the care of the custodial parent. There are many conditions under which it may be permissible for custody to be transferred to either the other parent or a third party.

 Rulings of this nature are often highly circumstantial and usually follow district-specific laws. This is why it is often advantageous to have an attorney review the case before requesting a custody modification.

 If you want an experienced Aurora family lawyer to handle your child custody or divorce case, consider the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. With 10 years of practice, a degree in psychology, and Mr. Williams’ work with children and adolescents, our office has the background to help with child custody-related cases. To schedule an appointment please call 630-409-8184.

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