Child custody issues can be emotionally and legally complex, especially when one parent is neglecting their parental responsibilities toward their child. In Illinois, the primary consideration in child custody cases is the child’s best interests. Courts will always prioritize the child’s well-being and safety above all else. However, gaining full custody in Illinois if your ex is neglecting your child requires careful consideration of various factors and adherence to Illinois’ custody laws.


Under current Illinois law, the term “custody” has been updated and replaced with the concept of allocating responsibility among the parents to make significant decisions and the concept of parenting time instead of using the term visitation. Because many lay people are more familiar with the notation of custody and it is generally understood by the public, it is used in this article.  Legal custody herein is intended to refer to the right to make major decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, participation in extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing. On the other hand, physical custody refers to where the child resides daily.


If you believe that your ex is neglecting your child, you have the power to seek to modify the existing parental responsibilities arrangement to gain the right to make all of your child’s major decisions and to have the majority of parenting time. To do so, you would need to file a petition with the court seeking custody modification. In your petition, you must provide evidence such as neglectful behavior and demonstrate how it is detrimental to the child’s well-being. Your role in gathering this evidence is crucial, as it can significantly impact the court’s decision.


Illinois law allows for custody modifications if it is in the child’s best interests. Neglecting a child can constitute a basis warranting a custody modification.


In determining custody arrangements, Illinois courts consider various factors, including:


  1. The child’s relationship with each parent
  2. Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs
  3. The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
  4. Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent
  5. The child’s preferences, depending on their age and maturity

If the court finds that your ex is neglecting your child and that modifying custody is in the child’s best interests, they may grant you full custody. However, it’s essential to note that Illinois courts typically prefer to maintain a relationship with both parents whenever possible. Therefore, even if you are granted full custody, the court generally will allow visitation or parenting time for the non-custodial parent, depending on the circumstances, and possibly with restrictions.


Navigating the legal process of modifying child custody can be challenging, especially when dealing with issues of neglect. It’s important that you seek the guidance of our knowledgeable child custody attorney in Chicago who can advocate for your rights and represent your interests in court. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence, navigate the legal proceedings, and present a compelling case for why modifying custody is in the child’s best interests.


Gaining full custody in Illinois if your ex is neglecting your child is possible, but it requires careful consideration of various legal factors and adherence to state laws. By demonstrating that modifying custody is in the child’s best interests and providing evidence of neglectful behavior, you may be able to secure full custody. However, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a skilled child custody attorney in Chicago to navigate the legal process effectively and protect your child’s well-being.

Call Our Chicago Child Custody Attorney

If you have any concerns or questions about child custody or any other family law issue in Illinois, don’t hesitate to call us. Contact our child custody attorney in Chicago Michael C. Craven at (312) 621-5234 for your initial consultation. Your family’s well-being is our top priority, and we’re here to provide the experienced guidance and support you need.

The post Can I Gain Full Custody In Illinois If My Ex Is Neglecting Our Child? first appeared on Divorce Attorney in Chicago.