Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Under which circumstances can child custody be taken away?

Family courts in Illinois base any child-related decisions on the best interests of the child. Times have changed, and child custody is no longer a mother's right. Fathers have equal rights to care for their children, and although it is mostly agreed that children fare better when both parents share custody, it is no longer unusual for a father to get primary custody. However, the parent who is awarded physical custody can just as quickly have the children removed from his or her care under particular circumstances.

If the custodial parent breaks the law, child custody may be removed. Using or possessing drugs, child neglect, and child abuse are some actions that could result in custody removal. However, a parent may also lose rights to a child if another member of the household threatens the safety of the child. If the parent does not remove an abusive person, the court can remove the child and only allow visitation.

Violations of court orders can have similar consequences, and this could be orders to undergo mandatory drug tests or counseling, noncompliance with visitation schedules, alienation of the child from the other parent or more. Even if a custodial parent keeps the child away from the other parent for the child's safety, it is against the law, and the court might give the other parent -- who might be abusive -- full custody of the child. The only legal way in which to protect a child in such a situation is to petition the court to modify the child custody order to protect the child.

Any Illinois parent who is at risk of losing child custody or who needs to modify an existing court order might be best advised to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can assess the client's unique circumstances and explain his or her rights. Together, they can consider the available options and the best interests of the child. The attorney can then provide the necessary support and guidance throughout any legal proceedings that might follow.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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