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Huntley Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody can be a very contentious matter. Divorcing parents may be willing to work out an amicable agreement, or they may be unwilling to negotiate, for whatever reason. In child custody matters, the Illinois court mandates that the parents attend a mediation to attempt to work out an agreement out of court in Huntley, Illinois. When this is unsuccessful, the child custody matters are decided by a judge at trial. It stands to reason that the quality, experience, and talent of your child custody lawyer in Huntley, are arguably the most critical factor in the outcome of a custody trial.
The Law and Child Custody in Illinois
Under state law, the two parents have legal custody of a child born to a marriage. For unmarried parents, the mother has child custody until paternity is established and the father petitions the court to gain legal custody. All child custody matters are resolved based on what is considered to be in the best interests of the child. In some cases, the Illinois court decides that one parent should be granted sole custody of a child.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Legal custody gives both parents the right to make decisions, including in regards to that child’s education, religious instruction, and medical care. Physical custody refers to where the child will live. Shared physical custody is when the child spends time living with each parent. Sole legal custody may be granted to one parent by the court.
It is not assumed that joint custody will be in the child’s best interests, especially in cases where a parent has committed any act of domestic violence. In these cases, the chances that the other parent will be granted sole physical custody significantly increase. However, domestic violence must be proven to the Illinois court. An order of protection or conviction can be critical evidence in these custody cases. Testimony from witnesses can also come into play.
At What Age Can a Child in Illinois Choose Which Parent to Live With?
The only age at which someone can choose where they live is 18. In custody cases, children always get to express where they want to live, but the court does not have to rule against the child's wishes.
The court will also consider the child's best interests, including factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, the stability of each parent's home, and the child's educational and extracurricular needs. The older the child is, the more weight the court will give their wishes. However, the court will always consider the child's best interests, even if their wishes are not in their best interests.
If you are going through a divorce or separation in Illinois, speaking with a family law attorney who can help you understand the custody process and protect your rights is essential.
Child Custody Lawyers Serving McHenry, Kane, and the Surrounding Counties
At Brody Brandner, Ltd., our family law lawyers have 25 years resolving child custody matters in a divorce or as a separate legal action. To retain a child custody lawyer who is committed to you, your wishes for your children, and who is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of your children, contact us at (815) 374-7783 for a free case evaluation.
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