Determining child custody can be extremely stressful and frustrating for parents. On top of dealing with all the other issues that come with splitting up and going their separate ways, parents have to consider what life will be like dividing their parenting time. Obviously, it can be a difficult prospect to face that you might not see your children nearly as much as you used to. Add to that the fears that your former spouse might badmouth you to your children every time they are not with you, and these kinds of thoughts can be very troubling.
Child custody battles are often the most difficult part of any divorce or separation. There are many different aspects that go into child custody decisions and when parents can’t agree on a plan then a judge will have to make a determination based on what he or she sees as the best interests for the children. A judge will make that decision based on several factors, including but not limited to, how old the children are, the living situation of each parent, the income of both parents, the ability of each parent to foster a healthy relationship with the other parent, and what kind of relationship the children have with each parent. So what about the children, do they have any say when it comes to who they will live with after their parents split up?
There are some instances in which a judge will at least listen to what a child has to say about his or custody arrangements. Sometimes that will depend on how old a child is. For example, when children are younger than 12 they might not be given an opportunity to share their opinions. In other cases involving children 12 or older a judge might listen to their preferences regarding custody and visitation. When a child has a strong opinion regarding which parent with whom he/she would prefer to live, then a judge might consider those wishes in his/her decision. However, the court is not bound by a child’s preference when making its decision, nor is the court bound to even hear the child’s wishes.
Ultimately, the court will take many different factors into account when ruling on custody matters, the most pressing factor being the best interest of the child. At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, we understand that these kinds of issues can be difficult. That’s why it’s always smart to speak with a child custody attorney when dealing with child custody cases. If you are in this situation, please contact us online by clicking here, or give us a call at 312-585-6604.
This should only be considered as general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Contacting an attorney is always a good idea in these kinds of cases. An Attorney can help you decide what is best for you in your particular case and circumstances.
There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.
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