Child Custody

Responsive Chicago Child Custody Attorneys in Cook County

Reliable Chicago child custody attorneys serving Skokie and Cook County

The Skokie divorce lawyers of M. Scott Gordon & Associates understand that the most difficult aspect of any legal case is the question of Illinois child custody. Section 602 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires a court to determine custody in accordance with the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all of the following:

Determining Custody

  • The wishes of the child’s parent or parents regarding his custody;
  • The wishes of the child regarding his custodian;
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  • The child’s adjustment to his home, school and community;
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
  • The physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
  • The occurrence of ongoing abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, whether directed against the child or directed against another person; and
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.

Assigning temporary guardianship may be an option in the event that neither parent is capable of taking custody.

Often, couples can agree upon a child living primarily with one parent. However, the court must decide if one party is to be granted sole custody or if the parties are to have joint Illinois child custody. If a parent has sole custody of a child, that parent essentially can make all decisions regarding the child. What if the parents agree about the child remaining primarily with one parent, but one insists upon joint custody? If the parties have joint custody of the child, the court designates one parent as the residential parent for the child, and the parties make major decisions involving the child jointly. Generally, this involves larger issues surrounding education, health and religious upbringing. Under a joint parenting agreement, the residential parent for the child makes the typical day-to-day decisions affecting the child. Your Cook County child custody attorney can help you draft a joint parenting agreement that best serves the needs of the children and each parent. A lawyer can also assist you in reaching an agreement over the difficult issues of child support and visitation.

If joint custody is envisioned, the parties need to enter into a Joint Parenting Agreement, which will govern specifically how joint custody operates in their case. When is joint Illinois child custody suitable? Our courts have held that joint custody is proper when the parties can communicate reasonably regarding issues involving the child. Although many parents cannot communicate and have decided to divorce, many others are still able to discuss issues involving their child. A Skokie divorce lawyer may advise clients that joint Illinois child custody is better for both the parents and the child in the long run if the parents can communicate. Parents who communicate after a divorce are not only helping themselves but are also helping their child adjust to the divorce. Parents who continually fight before, during and after a divorce put a tremendous amount of stress on a child, and this is obviously unhealthy. However, we also tell our clients that if they cannot cooperate with the other parent regarding the child, entering into a Joint Parenting Agreement is not recommended. Parties simply incapable of cooperating regarding the child are setting themselves up for failure and future conflicts if he or she bind himself or herself to a Joint Parenting Agreement.

Let an experienced Cook County child custody attorney help you determine what’s best

Email our Chicago Child Custody Attorneys or call our Chicago office at 312.360.0250 or our Skokie office at 847.329.0101 to help you with your child custody case. Our firm serves Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Northbrook, Niles, Glenview and the Cook County area.