Factoring in Your Child’s Best Interest for Custody Arrangements

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Illinois courts make their decisions on child custody based on relevant laws, statutes, and case law, but mostly, they look at what they deem to be in the best interest of the child. Follow along to find out what factors determine the child’s best interest and how a knowledgeable Tazewell County child custody lawyer at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. can help you protect this.

Physical vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with for the majority of the time. Meanwhile, legal custody gives a parent the authority to make critical life decisions on behalf of a child, including those involving education, religion, healthcare, and more.

Will I get custody of my child?

In Illinois, sole custody gives the mother full physical and legal custody of the child. That is, a father must establish paternity through a court-approved method to get his rights to the child. If successful, the parents have equal rights to the child.

Illinois courts assume both parties are fit to have parenting time with the child. However, if a judge determines one parent to be unfit, they can decide that they get no physical custody. If the parent is not entirely unfit, the judge can order supervised visits.

What does the court consider to be in the best interest of the child in Illinois?

Below are some factors the Illinois courts use to determine the child’s best interest regarding physical and legal custody:

  • The needs of the child.
  • The preference of the child, if of sufficient age.
  • The preference of each parent.
  • Any previous agreements about the child’s caretaking.
  • The amount of time each parent spent taking care of the child in the last 2 years.
  • The physical and mental ability of each parent.
  • Any history of physical violence or abuse.
  • The distance and cost of transportation between the parent’s homes.

A Tazewell County child custody lawyer can help you navigate any other factors that the court might determine as relevant to your case. Give us a call today so we can begin working on your case.

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.

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