Chicago Child Custody Lawyer
If you and your spouse are divorcing with children, things can get complicated. What will you do about your children? Who will care for them? Will both parents get custody?
Ideally, both parents should discuss and agree on custody of the children, but that does not always happen. In fact, child custody is often a contentious issue in a divorce. Both parents typically want custody of their children and some parents will use the children as blackmail for the other parent.
These kinds of acts can cause emotional distress to children during an already difficult time. If you are getting divorced with children in Illinois, you need to know how to act in the best interests of your children. Contact a Chicago child custody lawyer from Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today to learn more about your legal options.
Types of Child Custody
There are two main types of child custody in Illinois: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to which parent has the right to make important decisions about the child, such as those regarding education, medical care, and religion. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child lives.
Either type of custody may be awarded to one or both parents. However, sole custody is rare unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect or other factors involved, such as incarceration, substance abuse, mental illness, or abandonment.
Best Interests of the Child
The judge will make a decision about child custody based on the best interests of the child. What does this mean?
The judge will consider all relevant factors to ensure that the child will be properly raised in a safe and healthy environment. These factors include:
- The parents’ wishes
- The child’s wishes
- The age of the children
- The child’s relationship with their parents
- The medical needs of the child
- How the child has adjusted to home, school, and the community
- The mental health of the children and parents
- The ability of each parent to provide for their child’s needs
- Any threat of violence by either parent
- Ongoing domestic violence by either parent
- Whether a parent is a sex offender
Typically, siblings will stay together in the same household unless there are extraordinary family dynamics that require the children to be separated.
Parental fitness is a primary factor. The court will consider a parent’s substance abuse or mental health problem carefully to determine if the issue affects the parent’s ability to properly care for their children. Also, a child’s preference typically holds more weight when the child is older (a teen) and has good reasons for choosing one parent over the other.
Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC Today
If you have children and are divorcing in Illinois, you’ll want to understand your rights and responsibilities. Who will get custody? Will you have to pay child custody?
Count on the law firm Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC to guide you through the process. Discuss your goals with us and we’ll help you achieve them. Schedule a consultation with a Chicago child custody attorney today by filling out the online form or calling (312) 863-2800.