What considerations impact custody decisions in Illinois?

The family courts in Illinois try to take a holistic approach to decisions about the custody of children between unmarried or divorcing parents. In fact, the courts don’t typically use the term “custody” anymore, preferring instead to refer to the “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.”

Your parental rights include the right to have a say in major decisions about your child’s life and the right to play an active, present force in their lives. Parental responsibilities include being available when it is your parenting time and providing the basic necessities of life such as shelter, food and clothing. You’re also generally obligated to support your children financially.

The better you understand how the Illinois courts approach these parental rights and responsibilities, the easier it will be for you to strategize about how to approach issues like parenting time and visitation in your divorce.

The courts want to focus on what will be best for your kids

The primary guiding consideration in all decisions related to parental rights and responsibilities in Illinois will always be what is in the best interests of the children in the family. The courts generally prefer to uphold both parental relationships, but in cases of abuse, addiction or attempted parental alienation, they may choose to allocate more parental rights and responsibilities to one parent than the other.

Generally speaking, the courts want to know that you have a positive relationship with your children, that you have the capability of providing for their basic needs and that you will put their needs before your own or the difficulties in the relationship with your ex.

For most families, the outcome of court proceedings related to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities will be shared parental authority and rights — but it’s always wise to have an experienced attorney discuss the specifics of your case.

Call us at Denis M. Gravel & Associates, P.C., to discuss the matters of your case at 847-813-7590.