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Child Custody: When Is It Time To Seek An Attorney?

If you are facing a concern that involves your children, you should not wait to reach out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Chicago divorce attorney. The fact of the matter is that shared parenting issues tend to be as legally challenging as they are emotionally difficult, which makes having professional legal counsel in your corner paramount. An experienced Chicago child custody attorney can help.

The Best Interests of Your Children

When Illinois courts make determinations about parenting matters, they are always guided by the best interests of the children involved. As such, they carefully assess considerations like the following:

  • The children’s needs, including any special needs any of them may have
  • Each parent’s preference
  • Each child’s preference – if considered mature enough to participate
  • Each child’s overall health and well-being – along with each parent’s 
  • Each parent’s level of involvement in raising the children to date
  • Each parent’s propensity to encourage and support the other parent’s ongoing relationship with the children
  • Each parent’s ability to facilitate effective co-parenting
  • Whether or not domestic violence or child abuse is an issue
  • Any other factors the court, in its discretion, considers important

Parental Responsibilities

The State of Illinois divides child custody into both parental responsibilities – or legal custody – and parenting time – or physical custody. Parental responsibilities represent the important parental task of making key parenting decisions, such as those related to the following:

  • Your children’s healthcare
  • Your children’s education
  • Your children’s extracurriculars
  • Your children’s religious education

Your options when it comes to this decision-making responsibility include:

  • Making the decisions together
  • Making the decisions together while affording one parent the ability to break a tie if necessary
  • Awarding one parent sole legal custody
  • Dividing the decision-making responsibility between you according to the kind of decision that needs to be made

Parenting Time

Parenting time sets the schedule that determines when your children will be with you and when they’ll be with their other parent. Basic options include dividing your parenting time evenly or assigning the role of primary custodial parent to one of you while the other has what amounts to a visitation schedule. 

Protecting Your Rights as a Parent

The sooner you connect with an experienced child custody attorney, the better prepared you’ll be to protect your parental rights during your divorce, in terms of your child custody modification, or outside of marriage and divorce. The truth is that a divorce that begins amicably can swiftly change course, and child custody is one of the divorce terms that is most likely to become contentious, which makes now the right time to seek an attorney.

Turn to an Experienced Chicago Child Custody Attorney for the Help You Need Today

The skilled Chicago child custody attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have an impressive range of experience helping clients like you successfully navigate the path forward toward child custody arrangements that work for them. Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us today.  

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