If you are a parent and currently going through the divorce process, there is a very good chance that you will require the services of a knowledgeable Tazewell County child custody lawyer who can effectively fight for your child’s best interests through every step of the legal process ahead. Contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. today to learn more about how our legal team can fight for you and your family.
Tazewell County Child Custody Lawyer | Fighting for Your Child’s Best Interests
Our family law attorneys serve clients in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties and throughout Central Illinois. We have handled numerous contested parenting plan matters that involve the allocation of parental responsibilities, meaning the allocation of decision-making (child custody), parenting time (visitation), fathers’ rights and interstate child relocation cases. We also have substantial experience dealing with mental health issues, professional evaluators and all of the issues inherent in emotional and physical abuse of children and spouses. We handle all custody-related matters, including:
- Best interests of the child
- Child relocation
- Fathers’ rights
- Grandparents’ rights
Negotiating Joint Decision-Making In Your Parenting Plan (Joint Parenting Agreements)
The reality is that a child can’t be in two places at once. Absent a compelling reason for contact with one parent to be restricted, both parents should have quality time with children. The decision as to how the available hours in the child’s life are allocated between the parents is best made by the parents rather than a judge at the conclusion of a contested trial.
Illinois law allows mothers and fathers to enter into a parenting plan to govern the parental responsibility issues regarding their children following a divorce. The document, which is approved by the court and made a part of the final divorce order, contains their agreements as to how they want to handle parenting decisions, how they want to continue to parent using their expressed values, and how their time with the children will be allocated.
Physical Custody Vs. Legal Custody | Understanding Tazewell County Child Custody
When parents get divorced, it is critical that they first understand the difference between physical custody and legal custody. Essentially, physical custody deals with where the child will primarily live, while legal custody gives a parent the right to make certain critical decisions on behalf of their child. Illinois law now provides that decision-making responsibilities may be allocated to divorcing parents with legal custody of their child in four major areas: education, medical issues, religious upbringing and extra-curricular activities of the children.
Very often it is possible, through effective negotiation, to achieve the results you want regarding your children without having to go through an emotionally draining contested trial.
Parenting Plans in Illinois
Many parenting plans focus on the mutual discussion and joint decision-making by parents who agree to work together, despite their divorce, to co-parent their children. Joint parenting doesn’t necessarily mean that both parents will have equal time with their children. In fact, under most joint parenting plans, one parent usually maintains the “home base” for the children, and the other parent’s time is focused on weekends, holidays, summertime and days off school or work. The key is that the parents can be as creative as they wish in developing a schedule that will help the children to feel secure and stable.
Our new Illinois law imposes time constraints on the process of developing a parenting plan. One of the steps in the process is mediation. If mediation fails, then you and your lawyer will need to regroup and prepare for a trial with evidence such as psychological evaluations, school records, social media and teacher observations, along with testimony by witnesses familiar with your family.
Interstate Relocation Of Children
In Illinois, a custodial parent must have an extremely compelling reason before he or she will be permitted to relocate with the children from the state. We represent both parents who wish to relocate with a child as well as parents whose parenting plan rights would be affected by a relocation.
Modifying Child Custody in Illinois
As you may know, life after divorce often brings about certain significant changes. Frequently, these changes are significant enough that they make a child custody agreement no longer feasible. In this case, you may seek a modification to your initial child custody agreement. For example, if a custodial parent is looking to relocate with their child, they may have to modify their initial custody agreement. In other cases, if one parent develops a substance abuse issue or is found guilty of committing an act of domestic violence, there is a very good chance that the other parent may receive a child custody modification to protect their child from the other parent.
In most cases, anything that may deem a parent parentally unfit is grounds to receive a child custody modification. If you are seeking a modification to your initial child custody agreement, you can depend on our experienced Tazewell County family law attorney to effectively fight on your behalf. Your child’s best interests are our number one concern, and they will be through every step of the process.
Contact a Tazewell County Child Custody Lawyer
The bottom line is that our firm understands that as a divorcing parent, there is nothing more important than ensuring the well-being of your child is protected. You can depend on a compassionate Tazewell County child custody lawyer here at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. to effectively fight for your child’s best interests through every step of the legal process ahead. Contact our competent legal team today to schedule your initial consultation.