Making decisions on custody issues may be a lengthy and difficult legal process for any parent. If you are filing for custody of your children during or after a divorce, contact an Orland Park child custody lawyer at Reidy Law Office for help understanding your rights concerning the allocation of parental responsibility, factors determining the child’s best interests, and custody modification laws. An experienced family attorney could give you the professional assistance you may need for your case.

Child Custody Laws

Since custody cases in Orland Park are based on the children’s best interests, the courts may often encourage the use of joint custody while still considering certain factors that might affect a parent’s qualifications for custody. As established by Illinois law, these may include the parent’s ability to cooperate effectively regarding joint custody matters, their residential circumstances, and any other factors that may affect or be in the child’s best interests. An Orland Park child custody lawyer could assist you in learning more about how child custody laws may affect your parental rights.

Best-Interests Factors for the Child

Pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/602.5 and 5/602.7, Orland Park residents could expect courts to determine child custody using relevant factors based on the best interests of the child. These may include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Wishes of the child and parents
  • Child’s needs
  • Child’s relationship with their parents
  • Child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
  • The mental/physical health of everyone
  • Threats of physical violence/occurrence of abuse against the child
  • If either parent is a sex offender
  • Parents’ ability to cooperate

Different Types of Child Custody

There are three basics ways in which parental responsibility may be allocated in Orland Park. A child custody lawyer in Orland Park could help you determine which type of custody may be most appropriate for your situation.

Joint Allocation

A Joint allocation or joint legal custody could occur when both parents share parental responsibilities regarding their child’s education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities.

Split Allocation

Split allocation could occur when the court orders any combination in the best interest of the children. The mom, who is a doctor, could be awarded sole decision making for healthcare decisions while the dad, who is a teacher, could be awarded sole decision making for education decisions. The parties are awarded joint decision making for religion and extracurricular activities.

Sole Custody

A sole custody arrangement is one in where only one parent has the legal responsibility (“allocation”) for their children and the non-custodial parent has visitation rights (“parenting time”) unless otherwise stated by the court.

Parenting Time

Parenting time is often confused with “custody.” The living arrangements of a child do not determine “custody” or allocation. Children could live with mom during the weekdays, but the parents may share joint decision making. In a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents share the children’s living arrangements and either parent exercises “caretaking functions and non-significant decision-making responsibilities,” or parenting time. There are many factors that determine the living situation of your children, but the parents’ willingness to put their kids first typically ends with a good living arrangement.

Custody Modification Laws

750 ILCS 5/610.5 dictates that after the court grants a custody order, they may modify the order if there is a substantial change in circumstances and if the modification is in the best interest of the child. The custody order cannot be modified until at least two years after the initial order.

Call an Orland Park Child Custody Attorney

Child custody could be difficult to navigate, and it may be important to seek an outside opinion to understand the best way to divide child custody based on your circumstances. If you are involved in a custody dispute, an Orland Park child custody lawyer could be ready to assist you. Contact the Reidy Law Office LLC today at (708) 942-8428 to learn more about your rights and how we could help you assert them.