For divorcing couples with children in Illinois, child custody and allocation of parental responsibilities will likely be foremost in their minds. A key factor is the child’s best interests and how to create a situation for the child to thrive with as little disruption as possible. To achieve this, parents should understand the issues a judge will consider.
There are certain questions a judge will ask to come to a determination. Financial circumstances are critical. The judge will want to know about the parents’ ability to provide the necessary care, including shelter and food. The desires of the parents will be part of the hearing. Parents frequently want joint custody, and the court might prefer such an arrangement to maintain a close relationship with both parents. However, sole custody could be necessary for the child’s safety. Questions as to why the other parent should not have custody will be asked, and evidence may need to be shown as to why that is the case.
For the child’s benefit, parents will need to communicate with one another. With some divorces, there is acrimony between the parents. The court will want assurances that the parents can put their differences aside and serve the child’s needs without lingering animosity having a negative impact. Some parents will already have an agreement when they meet with the judge. The judge will want to know what is working and what is not. If it is a successful agreement, the court often prefers to leave it as is.
With child custody and other aspects of family law, it is wise to think about having legal advice throughout the process. Contacting a law firm experienced in child custody and allocation of parental responsibilities might be beneficial to achieve a satisfactory resolution for all involved.