Tag Archives: child custody
Most parents envision having an active relationship with their children – full of good times, laughs and fond memories. Rarely do people plan on being single parents or imagine going through the process of splitting time with their children with their former spouse. Many individuals whose marriage ends in a divorce or have a child out of wedlock never expected it. Whether you are in the process of a divorce or a parentage case for child custody in Illinois, a very important task may be establishing a child visitation schedule.
The decision to file for divorce is often one of the most difficult decisions in one’s life. Filing for divorce can be time consuming, costly, and complex. For these reasons as well as others, it is crucial that anyone considering ending their marriage be sure a divorce is what they truly want.
Once you are 100% certain you are ready to file for divorce, you will need to evaluate whether you want to hire counsel or attempt to navigate the process on your own. Generally, there are several main steps that will need to taken in order to dissolve a marriage.
While every divorce is different based on the parties, in general divorce law can be boiled down to 5 main areas:
Visitation or Parenting Time
Maintenance or Alimony
What many people tend to misunderstanding about child custody is that it actually is NOT the time spent with your children. Rather custody involves having the decision making authority to be able to decide the so-called “big decisions” that involve the upbringing of your children. The three decision-making areas that the law focuses on are religion, medical care, and education. Parents must be able to agree on these three areas in order to be eligible for joint custody. Elsewise sole custody is generally sought and a custody battle ensues.
One of the biggest topics in family law is the issue of child custody. It’s fair to say that almost all parents unequivocally want the best for their children. Regardless of this fact, parents continue to have difficulties or inabilities to agree on important matters involving the well being of their children. When such instances arise that negatively affect the child, usually one parent will file for sole custody. There are very specific guidelines governing the issue of sole custody in Illinois. This blog post outlines the main parameters a judge takes into consideration when awarding custody. Child custody cases center around how well each parent can work alongside the other to achieve beneficial results for the child[ren]. Some things that are taken into account are: medical decisions, religion, education, extracurricular activities, the extended family and the child’s emotional and financial well being. If the parent’s viewpoints’ collide on the three major areas: medical, education and religion, sole custody is generally sought and awarded.
There are typically two instances in which people attend mediation: voluntarily to settle a dispute outside of court or as a result of court ordered mediation. In family law, mediation is most often utilized as an alternative to litigating issues before a judge. If the parties are unsuccessful in finding a resolution during mediation, returning to court is most often the next step.
If you have been notified of court ordered mediation you must attend. Any child custody or child visitation case filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, whether through a divorce or parentage action, courts mandate parties to attend mediation unless the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, in certain instances, such as cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or child abuse, a judge has the authority to keep the parties out of mediation. Furthermore, if circumstances are presented that the parties should not be in close proximity, such as one having an order of protection against the other, mediation would not be considered a viable option.
There are many frequently used phrases that describe various child custody arrangements. Although they may explain underlying purposes, many are not legal terms recognized under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Some popular child custody terms include:
Needless to say, it’s easy to see why so much confusion arises when discussing child custody. The State of Illinois legally recognizes two types of child custody arrangements: sole custody and joint custody.
On your quest to find the best divorce lawyers in Chicago, you will probably scour the internet and look for popular reviews, read any and all negative feedback, and research the attorney’s experience to make an informed decision. If you have friends or family who hired a Chicago divorce attorney you will most likely consult them for recommendations, good and bad. If you are doing most of these things, you are on the right track, but caution must be used when navigating the internet, here’s why….
If you are in the Cook County Court system and cannot agree with your spouse or the parent of your minor child(ren) regarding custody of the minor child(ren) and issues related to visitation and removal of the child(ren) from Illinois, you may be facing a long road ahead of you.
In cases where custody of a minor child is at issue, or parents cannot agree to visitation, or when as issue exists as to removal of a minor child from the state, Cook County Circuit Court Rule 13.4(e) requires parents to attend mediation. Mediation, which is a non-binding and confidential process, can take place with a private mediator whom the parties agree upon, or through Family Mediation Services, which is free of charge to the parties.
Alimony, also known as maintenance, refers to one spouse paying a monthly stipend to his or her spouse during or after a divorce or legal separation. Only married couples are eligible for spousal support. This does not apply to parentage cases for child custody; in those scenarios, support is given to the child and that is referred to as child support. In divorce cases that also involve children, there will also likely be a provision for child support, which is separate from alimony.