Courts in Illinois child custody cases make their determination based on what is in “the best interests of the child.” While Illinois law provides for the parents to devise their own child custody arrangements and judges generally prefer this, the court will step in when an agreement cannot be reached.
There are a variety of factors considered by the courts when deciding child custody. These include the wishes of the parents, the wishes of the child, the child’s relationships with siblings, the child’s attachment to his home and community, the mental and physical health of those involved and also the possible presence of violence or abuse. In addition, the willingness of each parent to encourage a close relationship with the other parent is a consideration.
Traditionally child custody is litigated in the state where the child currently resides and often in the same court as the divorce. When a parent wants to move out of state however, things can become more difficult. These are the situations where experienced child custody lawyers and judges are needed. Regardless of your particular situation, it is crucial to have an attorney knowledgeable in Illinois child custody to help you navigate these difficult waters and make sure your child is best served by the legal system.