If you are going through a divorce and have minor children from your marriage, or if you are separating from a partner with whom you share young children or teenagers, our Illinois child custody attorneys know that you likely have many different questions about the child custody process under Illinois law. One common question we receive concerns how courts determine child custody. How is child custody determined in Illinois? Many factors play a role in determining how courts allocate parental responsibilities.
You should know that courts in Illinois do not technically determine child custody, since the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) no longer uses the terminology of ‘child custody.’ Rather, courts are responsible for allocating parental responsibilities, which include significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time.
When parents can reach an agreement about how they will share parental responsibility, the court can allow the parents to allocate parental responsibilities through a parenting plan as long as the allocation is in the best interests of the child. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, or if they can only come to an agreement about the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities or parenting time (or vice versa), then the court will allocate parental responsibilities in an allocation judgment.
When courts allocate parental responsibilities, they rely on the best interests of the child standard for determining what kind of allocation makes the most sense given the particular facts of the case. The best interests of the child must also be the focus when parents allocate parental responsibilities through a parenting plan. In focusing on what is in the child’s best interests, the court uses a variety of factors that are outlined in the IMDMA. Those factors include but are not limited to the following items cited in the IMDMA:
Do you have questions about how parental responsibilities will be allocated in your child custody case? Our experienced Illinois child custody lawyers can speak with you today. Contact Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. to learn more.
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In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Husband: Couple shared ownership in a business, resulting in complex property division issues. After investigation of the couple’s financial history, our client received a much more equitable divorce agreement than what was originally offered.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Mother: Father became aggressive and violent toward Mother during their separation, prompting her to seek full custody of their children. At trial, the court granted Father supervised parenting time only and Mother was awarded child support.
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