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6 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Best Interests in Mind During Custody Disputes

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County allocation of parental responsibilities attorneyA divorce can be challenging for all the involved parties, including for a child the couple had together. Many changes will take place once the final decree is issued. Whether you and your spouse and your attorneys plan to resolve the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) in or out of divorce court, you will want to make sure you are putting your child’s best interests first. According to the United States Census Bureau, about five out of every six custodial parents were mothers (82.5 percent), and one out of every six were fathers (17.5 percent) in 2014.

When addressing the allocation of parental responsibilities, it is important to weigh these six factors to keep your child’s well-being in mind:

  1. The wishes of your child: In many states, including Illinois, the court will consider the wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasonable preferences in regard to parenting time.

  2. You and your spouse’s mental and physical health: If you or your spouse suffer from physical or mental health issues, this may play a significant role in the decisions made by the court, since a judge will want to make sure that parents will be able to meet children's needs. Keeping and/or putting your child in an environment free of emotional and physical burdens will lessen the stress he or she may experience on a daily basis.

  3. Children's adjustments to their home, educational, and community environment: Will you and your child need to move to a new home, enroll in a new school, and become accustomed to a new community? Rearranging their entire life in the process of a divorce may not be in their best interests.

  4. Connections and relationships with other members of the household or family: There are a variety of other family members who may play a significant role in children's lives, such as siblings and/or grandparents. Assessing the child’s relationship with each person will help determine how the decisions made about child custody will allow the child to maintain these important relationships, and it can ensure that these family members will be able to continue providing for children's best interests.

  5. Evidence of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or drug and alcohol addiction:  Has the child been a witness or victim of physical or sexual abuse? Does your ex-spouse use and abuse controlled substances in the household? In some cases, it may be necessary to remove your child from that kind of dangerous environment for his or her protection.

  6. The ability to provide the child with food, clothing, medical treatment, or other needed care: Do you have the financial means to provide for your child? It is important to take your and your former spouse’s employment and financial situations into consideration. 

Contact a West Chicago Divorce Lawyer

Even though you and your spouse may reach a decision based on the best interests of your child, the judge will have the final say in Illinois. The easiest way to reach an agreement with your former spouse before your court date is to work alongside a knowledgeable lawyer. Attorney Christina Martell will provide personal, professional, and compassionate legal counseling throughout your divorce case. Call a DuPage County parenting plan attorney today at 630-717-2772. Initial consultations are offered for $100, which will be credited to your bill upon engagement.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/Pages/default.aspx   

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8400000&SeqEnd=10200000

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