In some cases, children may be given an opportunity to provide input into the structure of a custody agreement. However, your son or daughter is not allowed to decide which parent he or she will live with. Instead, an Illinois judge will make a ruling that seeks to ensure your child is properly cared for.
A child’s preferences are one factor used in creating a custody order
In most cases, a child’s wish to live with a particular parent will be just one of many factors that a judge will use when crafting a custody order. Other factors may include the strength of the relationship between a child and parent, a parent’s ability to provide a stable environment for a minor and a parent’s physical and emotional health.
It’s important to listen to your son or daughter
While the adults are in full control when it comes to designing a parenting plan, it’s still a good idea to include your child in the process of crafting it. This may be especially true if you have an older son or daughter who has a job, plays a sport or has other commitments to attend to. You’ll likely find that approaching the child custody process as a family can make it easier for everyone to transition to life after a divorce or separation.
Your child will still get to see both parents
It’s important to note that your child will likely spend some nights at your former partner’s home regardless of who the custodial parent is. It’s also important to understand that the terms of the plan will likely evolve over time. This means that there is a chance that your child will get to live with both parents at some point.
If you have any questions about parenting plans, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. He or she may provide insight into how these orders are crafted or how to seek a modification to an existing order.