What You Need to Know About Child Custody
When it comes to child custody, the state of Illinois is like other states in that it tries to make custody decisions based on what is best for the child. There are some common issues when it comes to what you need to know about child custody, and we will take a look at this.
Factors That Are Considered in Child Custody Decisions
It’s no secret that divorce causes emotions to run high, but the court does not make custody determinations based on which parent might be considered “better” or “worse.” The most important factor in determining what the best interests of the child are, and some of these include the following:
- The wishes of the parents as well as the child
- The interaction of the child with the parents
- The relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and others
- The adjustment of the child to the situation, including home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of those involved
- The presence of violence or threats, or domestic violence, by a potential custodial parent
- Whether either parent is a convicted sex offender
- Matters of deployment if the family is military
It is important to remember that every custody case is unique, and the court may take into account other factors when making a custody decision.
Types of Custody Arrangements That Are Available
In most states (including Illinois), there are two types of custody: legal and physical. The former refers to decision-making issues regarding the child; the latter refers to where the child actually resides. Courts can also award joint or sole custody to both parents—or either parent.
Although many states favor joint custody, Illinois is not one of these unless it is determined that joint custody is indeed in the best interest of the child. Except for situations of domestic violence, however, the courts like to maintain minimal involvement and urge the parents to cooperate in deciding what custody arrangement best serves the well-being of the child.
In the past, custody decisions were weighted more heavily in favor of the mother, but that is no longer the case, and both the mother and father have equal rights.
A child’s wishes are considered when it comes to matters of custody, but the weight they are given depends in large part on the age of the child and other best interests of the child, including staying at the same school and being in the same environment.
Seek Legal Advice in Hoffman Estates
It’s always best to seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney in matters of child custody. To discuss child custody in Hoffman Estates, contact us today.