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CUSTODY EXPERTISE

We 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 divorce cases. Custody, or amount of parenting time, cannot be quantified in monetary terms, and for parents, they 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 the expertise 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 a lot of tension for the parents and the children.

 

LEGAL OVERVIEW

Illinois Marriage and Dissolutions of Marriage Act requires the formation of a parenting plan that allocates parental responsibility regarding parenting time and decision making on behalf of the child. Custodial awards are determined by what is in the best interests of the child. Some of the factors that courts consider numerous factors in determining the children’s best interests, including but 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 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; 
•    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.
•    the 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.  

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.”