Serving Parents in DuPage County, Wheaton & Will County, IL
Child custody in Illinois is referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities” and visitation falls under “parenting plans.” The Illinois Marriage and Dissolutions of Marriage Act requires the formation of a parenting plan that allocates parental responsibility regarding parenting time and parental decision-making on behalf of the child. Custody rulings are based on the court standard of what is in the best interests of the child. It is important to note that courts generally prefer that children maintain a continuing relationship with both parents after divorce as this is seen as most beneficial for them in terms of stability and emotional value.
If you are facing the critical issue of child custody and visitation in your divorce, as an unmarried parent, or in a post-divorce situation, Kazmar Feely can help. Our team is highly qualified to represent you in seeking an optimum outcome that not only serves the best interest of the child but that takes into account your parental rights. With 50+ combined years of resolving even the most highly-contentious custody cases, whether through negotiation or litigation, we understand how to get results.
The goal of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) is to “secure the maximum involvement and cooperation of both parents regarding the physical, mental, moral, and emotional well-being of the children during and after the litigation.”
Custody is generally broken down into two parts. These include the legal authority to make major decisions about the child’s life, such as involving education, health care, religious upbringing, extracurricular activities, and the like. The other half involves a parent’s right to have access to the child, whether that involves joint and relatively equal parenting time in each household or some other arrangement.
The courts can look at many factors when determining how these facets of custody will be awarded.
These can include but are not limited to:
- The wishes of the child if the child is old enough
- The wishes of each parent
- The relationship between the child, parents, siblings, and others that impact the child’s well-being
- The mental and physical well-being and health of the parents
The child’s age, health, and any special needs
- The capability of each parent to care for the child
- The history of care provided by a parent for the child
- The educational needs of the child and the ability of each parent to meet those needs
- Either parent’s interference with the relationship between the child and the other parent
- The willingness and ability of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child
- The nurturing ability of each parent
- The length of time the child has resided with either parent
- The child’s need for stability
- Any occurrence of abuse against the child or other member of the child’s household
- Any issues of domestic violence
The “best interest” standard has been described as the exclusive standard. The focus is on the child and not the interests of the parents, custodians, or guardians. Because the standard is focused on the child, “all relevant factors” must be considered by the court. Some factors will and reasonably should be given more weight than others.
Why Choose Us for Your Custody Case
Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who always strive to narrow differences and resolve custodial issues without a court contest. Regrettably, not all circumstances lend themselves to a mediated resolution. Often, the custody proceeding will become contested. Disputed child custody cases are the most complex and stressful of divorce cases. Custody, or the amount of parenting time, cannot be quantified in monetary terms, and, for parents, are of paramount importance.
To find the best child custody lawyers for you, look for lawyers who can understand your child’s unique needs and your key parental attributes. The needs of each child vary and having a professional who will truly have your child’s best interests in mind will make a difference between winning and losing.
Our child custody lawyers have more than 50 years of combined courtroom experience litigating these cases, against first-tier competition, with consistently exceptional results. Our firm has a vast track record of achieving custodial results that outperform the competition and meet the loftiest of expectations.
We have proficiency in child and developmental psychology and can channel professional resources that aid the optimal resolution of your case. We listen to your concerns and help develop a plan to achieve the custodial arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, reducing tension for both parents and the children.