Family Law Attorney Belleville, Illinois

How Does Child Custody Work in Illinois After Divorce?

Child custody phrase and toy heart on house picture above a child holding their mother's hand

An attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

Child custody laws in Illinois are designed to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected. In Illinois, both parents are assumed to have equal rights to the custody of their child.

This means the court will not automatically award custody to either the mother or the father. Instead, the court will consider several factors in determining what is in the child's best interest.

If you have questions about the state's child custody laws, or you're involved in a custody dispute and want to see how a lawyer from our law firm can help you, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

What Are the Different Types of Child Custody in Illinois?

There are two main types of child custody in Illinois: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the child's living arrangements, while legal custody refers to the parent's decision-making authority.

Physical custody can be either joint or sole. Joint physical custody means that the child splits their time between both homes. Sole physical custody means the child lives with one parent and visits the other.

Legal custody, on the other hand, can also be joint or sole. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make decisions about the child's education, health, and welfare. Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right to make these decisions.

What Factors Does the Court Consider in a Child Custody Case?

The court will consider a number of factors when determining what is in the best interest of the child. Some of these factors include:

  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • The child's relationship with other family members
  • The child's school and community ties
  • The child's physical, emotional, and developmental needs
  • The ability of each parent to provide a stable and loving home
  • The parent's willingness to cooperate with the other parent
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse

It is important to note that the court may also consider other factors. Remember, the court's ultimate goal is to protect the child's best interests.

How Can I Prepare for a Child Custody Hearing?

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, it is important to be prepared for the hearing. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Gather evidence: This may include documents, photographs, and witness statements that support your case.
  • Hire an attorney: An experienced child custody attorney can help you navigate the legal process and represent your interests in court.
  • Be on time: Arrive early to the hearing so that you have time to prepare and compose yourself.
  • Be respectful: Treat everyone in the courtroom with respect, including the judge, the other party, and their attorney.
  • Be honest: Be truthful about the facts of the case and your own actions.

Illinois child custody laws are designed to protect the best interests of the child. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is important to be prepared and to understand your rights and obligations. With the help of an experienced child custody attorney, you can ensure that your case is handled fairly and that your child's best interests are protected.

How a Child Custody Attorney Can Help

In the aftermath of a divorce, determining the amount of time children spend with each parent can be a complex and emotional challenge. With the stakes so high, it is crucial to work with a qualified legal professional to create a parenting plan that meets the needs of both the parents and the children involved.

Here are some of the most common ways a child custody lawyer can help:

  • Establishing a fair and equitable parenting schedule.
  • Developing a schedule that accommodates the practical needs of each parent.
  • Coordinating parenting schedules with a former spouse.
  • Addressing the consequences of a parent relocating out of state.
  • Responding to concerns about a child's safety. (In cases of imminent danger, dial 9-1-1.)
  • Addressing violations of an existing parenting plan. (For instance, if your ex-spouse won't let you see your child.)
  • Amending a parenting plan in response to changes in circumstances. (Such as a change in work schedule, a move, or remarriage.)

In the face of these complex legal challenges, it is important to have the support of a compassionate and experienced legal team. At Courtney Clark Law P.C., we are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time.

Our law firm has been serving the residents of Belleville and surrounding communities for many years. With a deep understanding of Illinois child custody laws and our proficiency in negotiating with opposing counsels, we are well-equipped to tackle even the most complex cases. In the event that a trial becomes necessary, our firm is fully prepared to fight for your rights and interests in court.

To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free case evaluation at our Belleville office by contacting us today.

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