Hinsdale, IL child custody attorneyIllinois child custody laws and statutes set forth the specific steps for determining child custody when two parents divorce or are unmarried. Each parent should have their own Hinsdale child custody attorney during this process.

When it comes to navigating custody matters, both parents typically attempt to divide custody responsibilities amicably. However, if mutual agreement remains elusive, the legal system intervenes to ensure a fair resolution.

Types of Child Custody in Illinois

When it comes to custody matters, there is legal custody, and there is physical custody. Illinois courts draw a clear line between them. Legal custody is called “parental responsibilities” and encompasses the authority to make significant decisions that impact a child’s life. For instance, the parent with parental responsibilities makes decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. On the other hand, physical custody, or “parenting time,” pertains to the child’s day-to-day care and living arrangements.

Collaborative Custody Arrangements

Illinois law encourages parents to first attempt to create a custody arrangement independently. This collaborative process should also involve the participation of each party’s attorney. When and if they reach an agreement, a joint parenting plan is formulated. This comprehensive plan details the specifics of each parent’s legal custody and physical custody rights concerning the child.

Mediation Mandate by the Court

In instances where a mutual custody arrangement cannot be reached, court-ordered mediation is the next legal step. This process involves a professional mediator who is an impartial third party. This person may be an attorney, social worker, psychologist, or therapist. Operating under a framework of non-binding confidentiality, these mediation sessions facilitate communication between parents, striving to reach an amicable consensus on custody matters.

Judicial Resolution

When mediation falls short of resolving custody differences, the matter reverts to the court for a judge to decide. Under Illinois law, courts decide child custody disputes based on the best interests of the child. The precise steps of this phase may vary depending on unique circumstances, potentially involving steps like a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) investigation, a comprehensive home study, and testimonial proceedings.

During this time, each parent strives to persuade the court to rule in their favor, with distinct arguments that their desires are in the child’s best interests. Effectively navigating this process requires a firm grasp of each stage’s nuances, a task best undertaken with an experienced attorney.

Illinois family court judges will consider many factors in their decisions, including the following:

  • The needs and wishes of the child

  • The desires of each parent

  • Any previous agreements about parental decision-making

  • Each parent’s previous participation in making significant decisions regarding the child

  • The mental and physical health of the child and each parent

  • The child’s adjustment to their new circumstances

  • The ability of both parents to cooperate and make decisions for their child

  • The ability of a parent to have a positive relationship with the other parent

  • The distance between the parents’ homes and its effect on their ability to co-parent

Are You Dealing with Child Custody Issues? Seek Help Today from a Skilled Hinsdale, IL Child Custody Attorney

The Illinois child custody process can be lengthy and emotional. It is not one that parents should undertake alone. The guidance and support of a skilled Hinsdale child custody attorney is invaluable during this often-challenging time. Contact [[title]] online or by phone at [[phone]] to schedule a complimentary case consultation.