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What Factors are Considered When Determining Child Custody?

For parents of young children, a divorce or separation can be especially challenging. In Illinois, the term “child custody” is now referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” This raises an important question: What factors are considered when courts decide who gets custody of a child? Here, our Orland Park child custody lawyer answers the questions by providing an overview of the Illinois custody law and highlighting the key factors that are used to determine how parental responsibilities are allocated. 

An Overview of the Child Custody Factors in Illinois

Illinois uses the best interests of the child standard in custody and visitation cases. Under 750 ILCS 602.5, courts are required to “allocate decision-making responsibilities according to the child’s best interests.” A child’s best interests pertain to health, safety, emotional well-being, and social development. To determine what type of allocation of parental responsibilities are in a child’s best interests, Illinois courts can consider a wide range of different factors, including: 

  • The wishes of the child—if old enough and mature enough to give input; 
  • The extent of the adjustment that the child will have to make; 
  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved; 
  • The ability of the parents to work together; 
  • The participation in parenting (or lack thereof) of each parent; 
  • The implications of any prior custody/visitation agreements; 
  • The express wishes of the parents; 
  • The needs of the child;
  • The physical distance between the parents; 
  • The willingness of each party to facilitate an ongoing relationship with the other parent; 
  • The history of domestic violence, physical abuse, parental neglect, or any other safety threat to the child; and
  • Any other factor that the Illinois court expressly finds to be relevant and important to the case. 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities: A Case-by-Case Issue

Every child custody matter is unique. Parental decision-making responsibilities are always allocated on a case-by-case basis—with consideration of any factors deemed relevant by the court. When possible, collaborative solutions often work best in custody disputes. With the guidance of an Illinois child custody lawyer, you may be able to come to a parenting plan that works well for your family. Of course, an agreement is not possible in every case. Our family law team is always ready to take aggressive action to protect your parental rights. 

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With an Illinois Child Custody Attorney

At the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd, our Illinois family lawyers have deep experience handling custody cases. If you have any questions about the factors that will determine the allocation of parental responsibilities, we can help. Contact us now for a confidential case evaluation. With a law office in Orland Park, our family law firm is well-positioned to represent parents in Cook County, Will County, Kankakee County, DuPage County, and beyond. 

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