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Child Custody

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$1,500

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Child Custody Lawyer

Parenting Time & Parental Responsibilities

Child custody is a complex and evolving legal matter, especially in Illinois, where the custody laws changed significantly in 2016. It is also an emotionally charged issue for the parents and children whom it affects. If you are dealing with child custody matters, protecting your children’s best interests and your family relationships requires a strong understanding of the law, as well as a thoughtful approach to your family’s personal circumstances.

At Reifman Law Offices, we strive to be of service to Illinois families by sharing almost 20 years of legal knowledge and experience and treating our clients with the compassion and understanding they deserve. Whether you are going through the divorce process or you have a child outside of marriage, we can help you pursue a custody resolution that meets your family’s needs.

Illinois Child Custody Issues

The 2016 changes to Illinois child custody laws were intended in large part to promote joint parenting arrangements in which the children are able to maintain positive relationships with both parents. With these changes, Illinois courts now use different terminology to refer to the issues at hand in custody decisions—in fact, the word “custody” is now seldom used. Instead, parents will need to determine the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” including two major components: decision-making and parenting time.

Parental decision-making replaces the concept of “legal custody” and refers to the authority each parent has to make significant decisions about their children. This includes decisions about the children’s education, health care, religious upbringing, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Significant decision-making authority may be granted to one parent only, or more commonly, allocated between both parents. When parents share decision-making responsibilities, they will also need to determine how to communicate about these important issues and come to decisions together.

Parenting time replaces the concepts of “physical custody” and “visitation” and refers to the time that the children spend living with each parent and under that parent’s care. In most cases, both parents will have substantial parenting time, but the specific arrangements may depend on a number of factors, including the parents’ living arrangements and work schedules, as well as the children’s routines. A parenting time resolution will typically include a schedule of overnight stays, along with arrangements for transportation and special occasions.

Protecting a Child’s Best Interests

Illinois courts recognize that parents often have their children’s best interests in mind and that an agreement between parents regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities is often the best way to promote the children’s best interests. As such, parents are usually encouraged to work together on a parenting plan.

Unfortunately, this is not always possible. In a contested divorce or child custody case, the court may have to make decisions about the children’s best interests and define the terms of the allocation of parental responsibilities. When making these decisions, the court will consider the testimony of both parents and may seek assistance from a child representative like a guardian ad litem. Specifically, the court will consider factors including:

  • The children’s needs, routines, and preferences
  • The parents’ physical and mental health
  • The current relationships between parents and children, as well as each parent’s previous involvement in child care and decision-making
  • The parents’ abilities and willingness to cooperate and encourage relationships between the children and the other parent
  • Threats or dangers that a parent poses to the children’s health or well-being

Whether you are addressing child custody through an amicable agreement or contested litigation, focusing on your children’s best interests is of the utmost importance. We can help you demonstrate to the court that you have these interests in mind and that you are capable of providing for them.

Contact an Arlington Heights Parental Responsibilities Attorney

We can help you put your mind at ease about child custody matters by providing the quality legal representation you deserve throughout your case. To get started with a free consultation, contact us today at 847-229-8433 We represent parents in Arlington Heights, Palatine, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, West Dundee, Barrington, Streamwood, Rolling Meadows, and the surrounding areas.

At Reifman Law Offices,

we will take the weight of dealing with family legal issues off of your shoulders.
Call Us 847-229-8433

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Arkady Reifman

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