Creating Workable Custody Arrangements
When a couple decides to separate, they must make decisions regarding the ongoing care of their minor child or children. This process is often emotionally challenging and charged with conflict as parents work to find a shared parenting schedule that fits the needs of the child and the parents. For help creating a practical custody agreement that will work for your family, turn to — a family law firm whose lead attorney has more than 40 years of experience.
Illinois custody laws separate custody into two parts, legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody determinations decide where the child will live and the amount of time the child will spend with the nonresidential parent. Legal custody determines if one or both parents will have decision making power over their child’s upbringing.
If you and your spouse can amicably make decisions, joint allocation may be a good fit. However, if decision-making was a source of conflict during your relationship, sole allocation may be a better choice. Note, parents can have shared allocation of parental responsibilities, even if the child only lives with one parent.
The Best Interests Of The Child
Family law courts base child custody decisions upon the best interests of the child standard. When making custody decisions, Illinois courts consider:
- What is in the child’s best interest
- The wishes of the child and the parents
- The relationships the child has with each parent, siblings and other parties, such as a grandparent, that affect the child’s best interests
- The child’s ties to the community, including home and school
- The physical and mental health of the parents, child and other individuals involved
- The ability of each parent to encourage and foster an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any issues of abuse or domestic violence
- Whether or not either parent is a sex offender
Efficiently Resolving Support Matters
Issues related to child support and spousal maintenance are often highly contentious, with each spouse vying for their own interests. Illinois courts have guidelines in place for determining the amount and duration of the support awards. But having an attorney advocating for your best interests can significantly increase your chance of a positive outcome.
Get the support and guidance you need by working with in Highland Park. We have more than four decades of experience and a track record of successful results.
To ensure a spouse has the financial capacity to support themselves, a judge may order the other spouse to pay spousal maintenance. However, the judge is not required to award support. To determine if maintenance is appropriate, the court weighs factors such as the needs of each party, the amount of income and property available to each spouse, potential earning capacity and the duration of the marriage.
If the couple had a valid marital agreement outlining provisions for the amount and duration of spousal support, the court will apply those terms.
Both parents have an obligation to ensure their child receives adequate care and support. A noncustodial parent must pay child support. The amount varies based on the specifics of each case, but at a minimum, Illinois courts will use the income shares model. The state based this model on the typical costs of raising a child in a family with the same combined income and number of children.
Establishing Support Amounts And Securing Results
Whether you need to obtain, modify or enforce a support order, can help. To secure your financial future, reach us by email or call today to schedule a no-cost initial phone consultation.