Just because two people are not married does not mean that they cannot both care for their child. At times, unmarried parents may struggle with creating a parenting plan that works for the children and both of the parents.
A Will County lawyer can help unmarried parents create a child custody plan that works for their unique circumstances. Our dedicated attorneys can advocate for your interests to make sure any parenting time plan is fair to you.
The laws regarding families of all sorts have been codified in the Illinois Compiled Statutes. In general, when ruling on issues involving children, the courts prioritize their best interest. Per 750 ILCS 5/620.5(c), the court may consider several factors in fashioning a child custody order, including:
A lawyer can help an unmarried parent show that a custody plan would be in the best interests of the child.
Under the laws of Illinois, unmarried parents may establish paternity by obtaining an Order of Paternity. If the father of the child signs a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (known as a “VAP”), he may declare this to the court as well. If the father did not sign a VAP, either parent can request a DNA test to determine paternity. After both the father and mother have acknowledged their parentage, they may ask the court to create a child custody order if one was not included in an Order of Paternity.
A child custody Judgment will generally explain the rights and responsibilities of each parent, which parent will have primary custody and the days or hours of parenting time privileges for the noncustodial parent.
Unmarried parents may petition the court for more time with the children or for a change in primary custody. If the court issues a modification to a child custody agreement between unmarried parents, the changed order will supersede all prior child-sharing mandates. An experienced attorney is well-versed in child custody orders and how they work in cases involving unmarried parents.
Per 750 ILCS 5/601.2, the court may have jurisdiction to allocate parental responsibilities to each unmarried parent. Parental responsibilities may include decision-making abilities for a child’s education, health, and upbringing. In allocating parental responsibilities, the court will always prioritize the best interests of the children.
Sometimes one of the parents may try to introduce evidence of improper conduct on the part of the other parent. However, under 750 ILCS 5/602.5(e), the court may not consider such allegations, unless the wrongful actions could interfere with that parent’s relationship with the children.
When emergencies arise, the parent with physical custody of the children at the time may make an executive decision for the care of the youth. Moreover, routine choices may be made throughout the day when one parent is with the children.
An experienced Will County attorney who has dealt with child custody motions for unmarried parents can help you. Call Reidy Law Office LLC today to discuss your rights as an unmarried parent.