If you are involved in child custody proceedings, please read on, then contact an experienced Tazewell County child custody lawyer to learn if a child can weigh in on custody in the state of Illinois.
Is a child allowed to decide on custody in Illinois?
Many separating parents mistakenly think that their child can choose whom to live with. Only one state lets a child, of at least 14 years of age and subject to a judge’s approval, choose who takes physical custody of them. Needless to say, that state is not Illinois. Some states consider a child’s preference if the child possesses sufficient intellectual capacity and maturity. For better or worse, that includes Illinois. In fact, there is no official age at which a child can decide where he or she wants to live in Illinois because all children under the age of 18 are considered minors unable to make legal decisions for themselves. That said, a child’s preference will be factored into the judge’s ruling.
How is child custody determined in Illinois?
Central to any child custody decision in Illinois is the child’s best interests. Judges expect parents to put the needs of their children before their own. They will consider the extent to which each parent has demonstrated an ability and desire to meet the child’s developmental needs, based on the following factors:
- Each parent’s desire for custody
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s relationship with siblings
- The child’s involvement in school and community
- The circumstances of the child’s home life
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- The child’s physical and mental health
- Any history of domestic violence by either parent, even if the violence was not directed at the child
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
How can a Tazewell County family law attorney help you?
For many, divorce is the most personal and most significant legal matter they will ever encounter and no issue is thornier or more emotional than hashing out child custody. Whatever issues exist between you and the other parent, the best interests of your child must remain at the forefront. To that end, our skilled Tazewell County family law attorney will help develop a long-term solution that takes the needs of all parties, including your child, into account. Our firm will effectively guide you through each step of the legal process ahead, so give us a call today.
Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm
At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the divorce or family law matter you are facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.