Custody Considerations Made Simple at Arami Law
Like all other states, judges in Illinois determine custody arrangements based on the best interests of the children involved. Therefore, the focus in custody cases is not so much on a parent being “better” or “worse” than the other, but on ensuring a child is put into a healthy, appropriate living situation.
The following are some of the factors a judge will consider in Illinois child custody cases:
- If the parents have already come to an agreement regarding which parent would be the best fit to keep custody of the child, then the judge will often their proposal.
- While children cannot make custody decisions for themselves, judges might at least consider the child’s wishes if he or she is of a certain age.
- The way the child interacts with each parent, sibling, and anyone else who might factor into the custody arrangement.
- The physical and mental health of everyone involved in a potential custody arrangement.
- The child’s attachment and adjustment to his or her community, school, and home life.
- If there is any evidence of violence or threat of violence on the part of any potential custodian, whether that violence had been directed against the child or anyone else.
- Whether either parent is a sex offender.
- The ability and willingness of both parents to continue to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent. Judges generally believe it’s in children’s best interest for both parents to stay involved in their kids’ lives after divorce.
It’s important to note that every custody case is different, so judges will weigh each factor differently based on the circumstances. In Illinois, courts also distinguish between physical and legal custody. Physical custody dictates where children live, while legal custody gives parents the right to make certain decisions about how to raise their kids.