Butler Giraudo & Meister
Peoria 309-407-3332
Morton 309-263-1204

How do you decide a child's best interests for child custody?

Parents just want what is best for their kids, and that does not stop because of divorce. In fact, you might be even more focused on your child's best interests now. But what exactly are Illinois courts talking about when they say "best interests of the child?" While this can be up to interpretation, the court will look at some important factors when deciding what child custody arrangement is in your son or daughter's best interests.

The judge might consider you and your ex-spouse's wishes, especially since as parents you are most familiar with your child. Depending on your child's age, the judge might consider his or her wishes too. Those wishes may reflect your child's relationship with you, his or her other parent and other important people in his or her life. These kinds of relationships are important factors in considering your child's best interests.

You, your ex's and your child's physical and mental health will also be looked at. Your child's mental health might impact how he or she adjusts to the home, community and school. Any indication of physical violence -- even if directed at someone other than your child -- will influence a judge's decision.

Spending time with your child is important. But doing so after divorce often hinges on creating a child custody agreement that fully respects his or her best interests. But Illinois judges can only work with the information they have at hand, which does not always paint a full picture. Understanding you and your child's rights during this process may help you secure an agreement that accurately reflects those best interests.

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