Illinois laws divorce child custody

It should also include any changes to the existing visitation agreement. This may help ensure both parents are protected in the event that a disagreement arises later regarding the move or visitation arrangements. Such orders may be issued even if the noncustodial parent objects. There are a number of factors that the court will consider in determining whether to approve a request for relocation. Under state law, these factors include the following:. Failing to get the appropriate permission before moving may result in serious issues for parents in Illinois.

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As such, parents who are considering relocation outside of the state may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may help them understand their rights, as well as guide them through the process of obtaining the necessary permission or approval.

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You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge. A parent cannot deny visitation if child support is not paid. Likewise, child support cannot be withheld if visitation is denied. If a parent denies visitation or withholds child support, he or she can be held in contempt of court.


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Illinois law does not provide for allowing the children to decide with which parent they will live. The judge may interview the children, but generally courts prefer to appoint a professional to speak for the children to avoid involving the children in the court proceedings. Illinois law provides that a grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling of a minor child may petition the court for visitation rights when at least one of the following conditions exists:.

In determining whether to grant visitation, the court may consider a number of factors, including whether the child resided in the home of the grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling for at least 6 consecutive months, and whether the grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling was the primary caregiver for the child for at least 6 consecutive months.

A parenting plan, or Joint Parenting Agreement, is required when the parties are awarded joint custody of the children. The agreement also provides for a means of resolving disputes over the agreement. These orders remain in effect until the final divorce hearing. The temporary orders are replaced by the final and permanent order at the end of the case. When making a decision as to temporary custody and visitation, the court should consider the same factors it would when considering permanent custody and visitation, and make the award based on what is in the best interest of the child.

After a divorce petition is filed, the court may enter a temporary order regarding temporary custody and visitation, which remains in effect until the court enters a final order in the case, either after the parties have reached an agreement, or after a hearing is held on the issue. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on custody, the court can require the parties to attend mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party, trained and appointed by the court, who helps the parents attempt to reach their own agreement regarding custody and visitation.

If mediation is unsuccessful, the custody issues proceed to trial, and the mediation discussions remain confidential.

Illinois Child Custody Questions

If the parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation prior to trial, the court may appoint a custody evaluator or guardian ad litem to assist the court in determining what is in the best interest of the children and a trial will be held on the issues, with the judge deciding what arrangement is in the best interest of the children. An ex parte order is an order entered by the court when only one side is present.

An ex parte order may be entered regarding child custody upon a party showing the court that an emergency warrants the entry of an order without notice to the other party, usually only for a short period until a full hearing with the other party present can be held. An ex parte order may also be issued when one party fails to appear in court after having been given notice, which is also referred to as a default order.

An experienced family attorney will be able to specifically advise you on things you can do to help obtain your desired outcome in a custody case. The following is a list of behaviors to avoid when involved in a custody dispute. Avoiding these and similar behaviors will help you stay focused on the custody issues instead of being dragged into side issues when you go to court.

In addition to avoiding these negative behaviors, you should also engage in positive behaviors with your children, and, to the extent possible, with the other parent regarding the children. Attempt to keep the other parent informed of matters involving your children.

Visitation, or parenting time, is the amount of time that each parent is entitled to spend with the children. A judge may order supervised visitation when unsupervised visitation would seriously endanger the mental or physical well being of the child. Denial of visitation may occur in extreme cases.

Courts should decide custody and visitation issues according to the best interest of the child. Therefore, custody should be awarded to the father if it is in the best interest of the child. Identifying the specific issues individual judges prioritize in determining close custody cases is an important consideration for the father seeking custody in order to present the best case possible.

During trial, strive to present yourself in a positive light. Dress professionally, and conduct yourself appropriately. While witnesses are testifying or opposing counsel is presenting evidence to the judge, remain calm and keep your facial expressions neutral. Let your attorney object to witness testimony or the admission of evidence. If you think of something important to tell your attorney, write a note.

40 Things To Know About Illinois Divorce Law

When a mother and father cannot agree on legal or residential custody, that decision will have to be made by a judge. With respect to legal custody, the court will have to determine if the parents are able to communicate with one another. If two parents cannot communicate concerning their children, a court will be reluctant to award joint legal custody. In those situations, a court will probably award sole legal custody to the parent who is given residential custody of the children.

New laws are changing child custody determinations | Stange Law Firm, P.C.

Child custody cases are intensely fact specific, and it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney before letting emotions or fear dictate your decisions should you be faced with a custody battle. You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.

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