Most parenting time disputes and other child custody issues today are resolved out or court, often through mediation. However, a small number of cases will need to be heard and decided by a judge. If your divorce is going to be contested, then you should prepare for your child custody issue to be litigated. This can be stressful for everyone involved. You may be wondering what kind of evidence the judge will consider when determining which parent your child should spend more time with and what the visitation schedule will look like. You should know that it is exceedingly rare for one parent to be completely cut off from their child. This generally only happens when a parent has abused that child or has other significant issues that suggest that parent is not safe for a child. If you are facing a contested child custody case, it is essential that you are represented by an attorney as these cases can be complex and evidence-intensive.
Evidence Illinois Courts Want to See in Child Custody Disputes
There are a large number of factors courts in Illinois are required to take into consideration when deciding on a parenting time schedule and parenting plan in contested cases. Evidence the court may want to see includes:
Guardian ad litem findings – The guardian ad litem is there to assess what might be best for your child from a neutral perspective, so courts tend to place weight on their findings.
Evidence of violence – If there has been any violence in the home, especially toward the child, the court will need to consider this – even if the violence did not lead to an arrest or charges.
Parental involvement – The court will consider how involved in the child’s life each parent is. Evidence showing which parent is more involved might include things like records of parent-teacher conferences and witness testimony regarding which parent is generally with the child at events like chorus concerts and little league games.
Mental and physical health records – The court needs to know if one parent’s physical or mental health may make them less able to appropriately care for the child. Medical records may need to be introduced.
The court will generally want a complete picture of the child’s home life with each parent. It will also consider things like the wishes of the child involved.
Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer
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