Illinois Child Custody and Child Visitation
Courts in Illinois, much like courts in other states, place primary emphasis on the best interests of the child standard. The decision on child custody (i.e., best interests of the child) and child visitation is made through a thorough analysis of a number of factors. These factors and other relevant provisions under Illinois law are provided below. While the information below will provide you with a base understanding of child custody and child visitation law in Illinois, it is highly suggested that one obtain an Illinois child custody lawyer.
Illinois Child Custody
When creating a child custody order, Illinois courts aim to do what is in the best interests of the child while minimizing the emotional impact on him or her. In assessing the best interests of the child, courts in Illinois consider the following factors (non-exhaustive):
Unless the Illinois court finds evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, the court will assume that the maximum involvement of both parents is in the child's best interests. Upon a motion before trial, the Illinois court may call for an evaluation of the child's best interests for purposes of custody or visitation. If it is granted, then an “evaluator” will be appointed to evaluate the child's best interests and will provide the court with a written evaluation.
Illinois courts can also award parents joint custody. In these cases, the court will order the creation of a Joint Parenting Agreement. These agreements will specify each parent's powers, rights, and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and major decisions involving health care, education, and religious training. If the parents cannot come to a compromise on the terms of the agreement, then the court may enter its own terms.
The complexity of the child custody process and its importance to the family warrant the hiring of an Illinois child custody attorney to ensure that you have represented yourself to the best of your ability.
Illinois Child Visitation Rights
Illinois child visitation rights can be granted to a noncustodial parent (parent without custody). If granting visitation rights to the noncustodial parent would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, or emotional well being, the court may choose to not grant child visitation rights in Illinois. "Visitation" under Illinois law can refer to in-person meetings or electronic communication under conditions and times allowed by the court. As long as the child's physical, mental, or emotional well-being is not in danger, a parent may receive reasonable visitation rights.
If one is a noncustodial parent, it is important that he or she hire an Illinois child custody attorney with experience in child visitation rights in order to maximize your representation in child visitation proceedings.
Chapter 750 Families