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September 14, 2018

Important Considerations in Child Custody Proceedings

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Important Considerations in Child Custody Proceedings

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For single parents and those facing a divorce, making sure your children are safe and provided for is a top priority. In child custody proceedings, the court favors co-parenting arrangements, allowing both parents to play an active role in their child’s life. In making these arrangements, there are important issues to consider to ensure your child and your rights as a parent are protected.

Issues to Consider in Joint Parenting Arrangements

Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/517), the court will consider numerous factors in allocating parental responsibility. These include the age of the child, the child’s current relationship with both parents, each parent’s ability to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs, and any issues that could put the child in jeopardy, such as allegations of domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse.

There are also various issues to negotiate in terms of how joint custody arrangements will be carried out. In the Cook County Courts, a parenting plan is required, outlining the details surrounding the situation. Important considerations include:

  • Legal authority in decision making: Legal decision making authority relates to matters such as the child’s education, religious upbringing, medical or mental health care, and participation in school or recreational activities. If you have concerns about your former partner’s judgment or anticipate disputes, you need to voice concerns to your child custody lawyer.
  • Arrangements for school breaks and special occasions: Unless you can show that spending time with the other parent is not in your child’s best interests, you will need to alternate visits on important dates, such as birthdays and winter holidays. You or your spouse may request longer visits over school breaks, which can allow for extended visits and family vacations.
  • Third party visitation: If you have concerns about your child being exposed to certain friends or family members of your former partner, you need to voice these concerns when making a parenting plan. Visits can be limited to certain locations and can exclude certain individuals from attending.
  • Dispute resolution: Even with the best laid plans, disputes can arise. Your parenting plan should outline how disagreements will be handled, and when it may be necessary to return to court.

Our Chicago Child Custody Lawyers are Here to Help

When dealing with sensitive issues impacting your children, the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group works to ensure your rights and their safety are protected. Contact our Chicago divorce lawyers today and request a free consultation to find out how we can help you.

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