Child custody cases are often some of the most complicated and emotionally difficult matters in family law. Given that parents often have difficulty reaching an agreement about how they can share child custody, both sides will need to go before a judge who will ultimately determine what kind of child custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. When you are anticipating a child custody case in Illinois, it is critical to work with one of our experienced Brookfield child custody lawyers. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you could lose custody altogether or could end up in a shared parenting situation that does not meet your needs or your child’s needs.
As you may already know, Illinois family laws no longer use the term “child custody” when referring to the parent-child relationship after a divorce or when parents split up. Instead, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts allocate parental responsibilities. The allocation of parental responsibilities is a revised and amended version of a child custody proceeding. In the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court still focuses on what is in the best interests of the child, but the court has more flexibility to allocate the responsibility of making important decisions for and spending time with the child based on the needs of the individual family.
Parental responsibilities include significant decision-making responsibilities (like legal custody under the old system), and parenting time (like physical custody under the old law).
If parents can come up with a parenting plan in which they split parenting responsibilities, the court can approve that parenting plan as long as it is in the best interests of the child. Once the court approves a parenting plan, it becomes law just as an allocation judgment would.
When parents are having trouble reaching an agreement but are able to communicate with one another, family mediation can allow the parties to dialogue about parental responsibilities in order to develop a workable parenting plan.
In situations where the parents absolutely cannot reach an agreement about significant decision-making responsibilities or parenting time, or in family situations involving domestic violence, the court will allocate parental responsibilities based on a variety of statutory factors that help to determine what is in the best interests of the child. As opposed to a child custody award or order, the court issues an allocation judgment.
In order to modify an allocation judgment, a parent usually needs to petition the court unless the other parent agrees.
When you are going through a child custody case, one of the best things you can do is hire an experienced and compassionate Brookfield child custody lawyer. At the Arami Law Office, we have years of experience representing parents in child custody matters, from initial parenting plans and allocation judgments to modifications due to a relocation. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about how we serve parents in and around Brookfield, Illinois. Contact the Arami Law Office today to discuss your child custody case.
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