No two cases for the allocation of parental responsibilities are exactly alike. Each is unique in its way, and as such, the outcomes will vary. Though there are consistencies among cases, there are also many misconceptions about how the results of some cases come to be. An attorney experienced in divorce and parental rights cases can better help you understand the truth and cut through the endless array of myths.
1. Joint Custody is Automatically Presumed to Be in a Child’s Best Interests
- A court will look at many factors before deciding on custody. Joint custody is not a starting point when reviewing such cases. The reason for this is that not all families are cut out for joint custody. In some situations, joint custody would do more harm than good, especially if the aspect of family and domestic violence looms. The court will not make the presumption of joint custody but instead, determine the best interests of a child through careful thought and deliberation.
2. A Child’s Opinion Holds No Water On Who Gets Custody
- This is false. The opinions and desires of a minor child for where they want to live and who they want to live with are factors a judge will look into when determining decision-making rights and parenting time. They are not the only factors, but they are two important ones that a judge will use when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities. The older and more mature the child is will likely be a factor in whether their desires are seriously considered or not.
3. Siblings Cannot Be Split Apart
- Illinois courts face a more complicated challenge when cases involve more than one child. This is one of those situations where the opinion of a child matters the most. A judge will look at the abilities of both parents to raise a child in a befitting environment. Children with special needs can also be a significant factor in the decision.
- A child of sound mind and body at an age where they understand the implications of their decisions can provide their opinion on which parent they would prefer. In the event the children are split in their decision, the judge can choose to grant them their wishes and ultimately separate siblings, awarding parental responsibilities to the child’s chosen parent. This does not necessarily remove parental rights from either parent. Instead, it awards the majority decision-making rights of the “awarded” child to each parent.
4. The Mother is Always in The Best Interests of a Child
Gender is not a determining factor in the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois looks at many factors regarding the best interests of a child before granting responsibilities to either parent, mother, or father. The relationship of the child to each parent is likely the most significant factor in this situation. Cooperation and communication between parents are also major factors.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Lawyer
A judge considers many factors when determining the allocation of responsibilities. An experienced Wheaton, IL, child custody attorney can help you weed through the myths and set you on the right track to obtaining the parental rights you deserve. We at the [[title]] understand the importance of the parent-child bond. Contact our office at [[phone]] for a free consultation to discuss the legal matters regarding your case.