As a dad, you just want what is best for your child — especially now that you are going through a divorce. Your child custody agreement is the most important place to make sure that the best interests of your child are respected and upheld. But while you might feel certain that you know what those best interests are, you should still be sure to consider several key factors. Here is a brief overview of what Illinois courts look at when determining the best interest of the child.
First, it is important that you understand what best interests actually means. His or her best interests are based on whatever it takes to foster healthy growth and development following your divorce. Those interests will then help determine your parenting plan and schedule.
Parents do have a role in their children’s best interests, of course. For example, you and your ex’s wishes regarding your child’s living arrangements is one of the factors that courts will look at. Depending on your child’s age, his or her wishes will also count.
Your child’s connection to his or her community is also important. If your ex is pushing for primary custody but intends to move away from the immediate area, it could negatively affect your child. Adjusting to a new school and community while also processing your divorce could be very hard for him or her. However, some children thrive in new environments, and you might feel comfortable also starting over in a new area with your child.
Determining your child’s best interests is essential to not only protecting him or her but also your rights as a father. This might be easier said than done, though, especially if your ex is fighting against those interests and pushing for primary child custody. Having the right advocate on your side during your divorce can be helpful when dealing with these types of information. It may also be helpful to learn more about Illinois family law and how courts determine the best interests of the child.