If the involved parties in a child custody case cannot agree on decision making or parenting time, the judge could ultimately make the final decision. Several factors influencing child custody in Will County go into a judge’s verdict. Since the decision could hinge upon the evidence presented at trial, parents are recommended to consult a dedicated family attorney for help. A skilled lawyer could help you prepare a custody case to represent for your parental privileges.

Differences Between Parental Rights and Responsibilities

It is important to distinguish between parental “rights” and “responsibilities.” In most cases, parents have the right to be a part of your child’s life. This could include a reasonable amount of parenting time. Allocation of parental responsibilities might include finances and parenting time. Both parents have an obligation to support their children financially. Under the new laws, parents have a responsibility to exercise their parenting time if they wish to assert rights for parenting time. The old laws dictated that if one parent does not appear for their weekend visit, the other parent could do nothing about it. The other party could be forced to pay for those issues and be penalized. The court is authorized to impose specific laws to ensure both parents exercise the allocated parenting time.

Considering the Interest of the Child

The Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, specifically 750 ILCS 5/602.5(c), identifies the best interest factors. Most people mistakenly believe that there is an age when the child “decides” which parent to live with on a full-time basis. One of the factors the Will County judge could be influenced by in a child custody case is the age and maturity level of the children. The judge is interested in knowing what the child wants and how well they are dealing with the family changes. They may examine whether the child will be staying in the same home or will be uprooted and moved around.

In Illinois, a child does not decide where they live because of the power and pressure it may place upon them. Children typically should not have power over their parents since they may threaten to decide on staying with the other parent if they do not get their way while in their current home.

Judges also consider the mental and physical capacity of both parents when determining custody. The judge may seek to know if both parents are amicable or confrontational. If both parties cannot agree on anything, the court could take this into consideration and might not award joint decision-making to the parties.

Requirements the Parents Must Meet

If a child has a specific issue that one parent is more equipped to handle than the other, it may become a factor. Location is an important factor for the judge to consider. The distance between a proposed location versus another location is important to consider since transportation time could impact the quality of time between the children and their parents.

Criminal Records Could Impact a Person’s Custody Rights

Any sex abuse is a huge influencing factor in Will County child custody cases, notably if it involves a minor child. Any criminal action, violence, physical violence, or threat of violence could also impact the court’s ruling. While the offense might not be something that happened to the child, it could become a problem if one of the parties is violent with other people in the house.

Amicability Between Former Spouses

One of the most important factors is the willingness of the parties to continue a loving relationship with the other parent. Individuals may be bitter and might be unable to recognize that the other parent is the biological (or adopted) parent of their child. When a person has that much hatred towards another person, they may not be able to facilitate a loving relationship with the other parent. When a decision about the welfare of the child is made, the court might decide in favor of the other parent.

Reach Out to a Child Custody Lawyer For Advice

While the process of fighting for child custody may be overwhelming, a Will County child custody lawyer could provide you with well-practiced guidance. An attorney familiar with the many factors influencing child custody in Will County could pursue your parental rights tirelessly. Call today and let an experienced attorney support you in your fight.