In a divorce, there are many issues that must be settled. Some of the most important include custody and parenting time. In Will County, a standard called the best interests of the children is used to create these arrangements. A knowledgeable attorney can explain how the best interests of the children is determined in the context of a Will County custody agreement.
Throughout the process, a proactive custody attorney can help you make sure your children are taken care of and advocate for your interests. This can help you move forward from your marriage knowing that your children will be in the best possible situation.
The “best interests of the children” is a term that is used in Illinois to decide how all major decisions will be made concerning the children. This could include where the children live, what parent can make decisions for the children, and how often they see either or both parents.
The best interests of the children are determined by several factors. If a contentious issue is involved which causes mediation to fail, the court often appoints a guardian ad litem to investigate on the court’s behalf. It is the job of the guardian ad litem to make recommendations to the parties involved and potentially, to the court. The parties can then accept those recommendations or escalate the dispute to another level. An attorney can further explain this process of determining the best interests of the children.
The best interests of the children that are used to help decide the allocation of parental responsibilities. Other issues this standard may be used for include parenting time and which parent can make decisions for the children.
In a child custody case, a Will County divorce lawyer can help a person demonstrate that having custody or parenting time is in the best interests of the children. Absent evidence to the contrary, the default is that it is in the best interests of the children for both parents to have parenting time. If one of the parents wants to challenge that default, they must prove that the other parent having parenting time would not be in the best interests of the children.
In scenarios where what the child wants differs from what is considered to be in their best interest, the decision is ultimately at the discretion of the judge. If a child feels a certain way, that may be taken into consideration by the court, but ultimately must determine what they believe is in the child’s best interests. For example, a child may prefer one parent over another because that parent is not strict, but the court may decide that it makes more sense for the child to be in a structured environment.
Over time, the situation that best fits the best interests of the child may change, and the arrangement may need to be adjusted accordingly. This often occurs as children get older and have changing needs or as parents remarry.
Determining the best interests of the child is the most important part of creating a custody plan in Will County. It is important to carefully consider all the factors that could impact an agreement now and in the future. To learn more about the process of determining the best interests of the child, call Reidy Law Office LLC for a consultation. Call today to get started.