Considerations for Child Custody

child custody, Aurora family law attorneyEven the most congenial divorce proceedings come with their own set of challenges. These are life-changing, stressful, heartbreaking and complicated times for everyone involved. Children are often caught in middle of the legal battles, and their concerns are just as real those of their parents’. It is not unreasonable for them to have concerns about who they will stay with, whether they will stay at the same school, or continue to live near their friends.

Different States, Different Rules

Child custody laws vary from state to state, and different counties or districts within each state may also have established protocols when it comes to making decisions regarding the children. Because of the differences in custody laws in different state, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was drafted and adopted by 49 states—including Illinois—and the District of Columbia to help streamline custody rulings country.

The UCCJEA requires the courts to establish a “home state” for any children in a dispute over custody or parental responsibilities. According to Illinois law, one important factor for choosing the home state is where the child has lived, for the past six consecutive months. For families that may have moved considerably in the past, it helps to sit down with a family lawyer to get a clearer picture. The custody laws of the court-recognized home state are then applied to the case.

Custody Proceedings in Illinois

In Illinois, there are a number of considerations that factor into a legal decision for custody—now called the allocation of parental responsibilities. Under the recently-amended Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the law encourages parents to find a solution that keeps both parents active in the child’s life. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will make the necessary decisions, including which parent will be granted the majority of the parenting time. When doing so, the court will review a host of relevant factors, including but not limited to:

  • The mental and physical well-being of each individual;
  • Evidence or history of child or spousal abuse within the home;
  • Whether or not anyone involved in the child’s life is a registered sex offender;
  • Military service required for either parent;
  • The capability and desires of both parents to provide for the child;
  • The child’s current relationship to their community, school or home;
  • The interests and wishes of the child, based on his or her understanding of the situation; and
  • Whether any involved parties has special needs.

Since every case is unique, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to custody disputes. Everyone involved should Illinois family law operates as well as the trends and customs of the county in which the case is being heard. A family lawyer can explain how certain provisions may alter the outcome of your case.

To learn more about the laws regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois, contact an experienced DuPage County child custody attorney. Call [[phone]] for a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Sources:

http://www.uniformlaws.org/ActSummary.aspx?title=Child%20Custody%20Jurisdiction%20and%20Enforcement%20Act

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

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