DuPage County Family Law AttorneyCustody issues can be very complicated and emotionally charged. One of the factors that makes it even more complicated is that the language used to describe child custody can be complex and subject to change. Technically, there is no longer sole custody in Illinois. Instead, parents receive an allocation of the parenting time (time spent with the child) and parental responsibilities (legal custody and decision-making authority).

Parenting arrangements that allow both parents to spend time with the child and be involved in child-related decision-making are preferred by Illinois courts. However, there are situations in which the court will award all of the parental responsibilities and/or parenting time to only one parent.

The Best Interests of the Child are Paramount

Illinois courts assume that both of a child’s parents are capable of providing safe, loving care and protection of a child. Sadly, however, this is not always the case. If a court sees that it is in the child’s best interests not to be in the care of one parent, the custody determinations may limit this parent’s access to the child. Courts may also favor one parent over the other if a parent is unable to provide proper care for the child due to drug addiction, mental illness, or other life circumstances.

In some cases, the court may allow for parenting time, but place restrictions on parenting time to make sure that the child is safe. For example, a parent who is recovering from a severe opiate addiction may be required to have a third-party supervisor present during parenting time. The supervisor’s role is to ensure that the parent is not under the influence during parenting time and that the child is not being placed in any danger.

In extreme cases, a parent’s parental rights are severed entirely. However, this is usually reserved for situations in which another adult is able to adopt the child. For example, if a stepfather wishes to become a child’s legal guardian, the biological father’s rights may be terminated to allow this to happen. For the court to terminate a parent’s rights against the parent’s will, there must be strong evidence justifying this decision. Typically, a parent’s rights are terminated due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child.  

Contact a Naperville Child Custody Lawyer

If you are getting divorced or are an unmarried parent, you may have many questions and concerns about child custody issues. Our skilled Wheaton family law attorneys can help. Call our office today at [[phone]] for a free consultation.




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