Both parents have the right to custody of their child, and that's typically the preference of the courts. The idea is a simple one: each child and parent has the right to develop their relationship. Barring any serious issues like abuse or neglect, child custody is a right of both parents. Determining what that manifests as is another issue altogether.
At The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Law), our child custody attorney, mediator, and parenting coordinator, Erin Birt, will thoroughly review your case, listen to your concerns and preferences, and outline the best course of action for you. We know you have your child's best interests at heart. To that end, we will make every effort to attain the child custody arrangement best for you and your child. Contact us online or at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a Free Introductory Telephone Call.
Child custody in Illinois can be a contentious process. Our child custody lawyer & mediator makes sure your child's best interests are protected.
What is Child Custody in DuPage County (and other Illinois counties)?
When two parents are no longer together, one of the most important matters to be decided is who will have custody of their child. In most states, there are two different types of custody that the court must consider: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal Custody (Allocation of Parental Decision Making Responsibilities)
Legal custody is not related to whom the child lives with. Instead, the parent with legal custody has the legal right to make important life decisions for the child. For example, a parent with legal custody will decide where the child attends school and the type of healthcare they will receive. It is possible in some states for the parents to share legal custody.
Physical Custody (Residential Parent)
Physical custody concerns where the child resides a majority of the time. It may be awarded solely to one parent, or it may be shared jointly between parents. Parents with joint custody will have a plan set in place that determines who has the child when.
When determining who to award child custody to, a court will consider what is in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the court will look at are:
- Who can provide a safe environment for the child
- Any evidence of abuse
- The child's relationship with each parent
If a matter affects the child, the court will likely consider it when awarding custody.
Parent Plans and Child Custody in DuPage County (and other Illinois counties)
Once child custody has been determined, unless one parent has sole custody, most jurisdictions request the parties enter into a parenting plan which must outline the parenting responsibilities and the parenting time schedule. A parenting plan lays out what is expected of each parent to provide the child with the physical and mental stability they need to prosper. It can address everything from where a child lives, the school the child attends, guidelines for extracurricular activities, to the religion they will be exposed to or follow. The parent plan is an agreement the parties reach together, often with the help of mediation.
Unfit Parents and Child Custody in Illinois
When a court reviews a case and determines that a parent is unfit, it is likely it will award custody to another party, and the court may allow the unfit parent supervised visitation. The court may also order the unfit parent to undergo counseling and parenting classes if they want to continue to have a relationship with their child.
While it is not impossible in most jurisdictions for an unfit parent to later regain custody of their child, it is not an easy feat as they must prove to the court the issues that deemed them unfit have been completely resolved.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Illinois Today
If you are facing a child custody issue, make certain your child is protected by speaking with our lawyer and mediator with experience in child custody disagreements. We can help you with translating legal parenting orders, creating a parenting plan, or working on your parenting communication after a court order is entered. Contact The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Law) in Illinois today by using our online form or calling us directly at (630) 891-2478.
If you are considering a change because of a family law issue or a divorce, you may want to also read about our services for: Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Family Law Mediation, Child Custody, Child Support, Client Wellness, and Legal Wellness Services.