Your rights as it relates to the proper care your children are always at the forefront of any family court’s decisions. In fact, judges in family courts have an obligation to rule based on the best interests of the child.

If you and your child’s parent separate, either as non-married parents who no longer live together or as a divorcing couple, arrangements must be made for child custody. This includes both where your children will live and which parent will make decisions concerning your children’s future.

One of the qualified family lawyers at Reidy Law Office LLC could help you to fight for custody of your children. We could help establish a plan that is best for your children or help you to change an existing Judgment to work towards needed modifications to reflect major changes in circumstances.

How the Court Allocates Parental Responsibilities

The State’s laws surrounding families are most concerned with protecting children. As a result, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act contains a set of statutes that address the care of children in case of a breakdown of a marriage. Specifically, 750 ILCS 5/602.5 states that courts have the authority to make decisions concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities. In other words, which parent can make decisions concerning the child’s future.

The court will examine a collection of factors when making this decision. These include:

  • The child’s wishes
  • The child’s ability to adjust to new situations
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate to make decisions
  • The child’s needs
  • The ability of each parent to make these decisions

In some cases, courts will award primary custody of the children to one parent. However, other cases will require the parents to come to an agreement as to how these decisions are to be made. An attorney can help determine what makes the most sense for child custody arrangements based on the specific circumstances.

Determining Physical Custody in Frankfort

“Physical Custody” is no longer used in our courts, but the judge will likely determine which parent will have the majority of parenting time. Much like matters concerning decision making, the court is required to examine what outcome would be best for the children. Under 750 ILCS 5/602.7, courts must examine a variety of factors that serve the interests of the children.

These factors are very similar to those that affect the decision to allocate parental responsibilities. However, unlike the decision to allocate decision-making responsibilities, the court is far more likely to provide primary custody to one parent. This serves to create stability and certainty in the child’s life. For example, a plan may divide parenting time to have a child stay with one parent during the school week and another during the weekends. Even in scenarios where parents want to have “equal” parenting time, there are 365 nights in a year so one parent will have a “majority” of overnights no matter how “equal” the schedule.

A Frankfort Lawyer Could Help You Find a Child Custody Plan

The law requires both parents and courts to make solid arrangements for the proper care of their children. If the parents cannot come to an out-of-court agreement as to how the children are to be raised, the court may be forced to intervene. The court will always do what is best for the children, even if the parents do not necessarily agree.

If you live in Frankfort, our lawyers could help you to understand the child custody process. We can also help to establish a plan for parenting that will protect your children’s future and serve as a guideline for a court in any potential custody battle. Call us today to learn more.