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Child Custody in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce
There are, of course, several complicated issues to be addressed when going through a divorce. If children are involved, it’s even more so. The court system in Illinois takes into consideration several different factors when determining child custody, the crux of which is the child’s best interests. States all have different rules that evoke the “child’s best interest,” according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a governmental resource. In Illinois, the following factors that determine a child’s best interest include, but are not limited to:
  • the physical safety and welfare of the child
  • the child’s background and ties, including familial, cultural, and religious
  • the child’s wishes and long-term goals
  • the child’s community ties
  • the child’s sense of attachments
  • the risks attendant to entering and being in substitute care
As in most states, Illinois prefers to award parents joint legal custody. If parents are granted joint custody, they must sign a Joint Parenting Agreement in Illinois. These vary from region to region within the state, but all provide a blueprint of cooperation in raising the child. Significant clauses include the making of joint decisions regarding education, medical and health care, religious training, and a custodial schedule. The Joint Parenting Agreement usually also includes an agreement of what to do in the case that an agreement can’t be made—setting grounds for what a divorced couple can and cannot fight out later in court. One important factor of determining child custody is the payment of child support. In Illinois, this is mediated through the Child Support Payment Act, which defines the obligation of the non-custodial parent to provide adequate monetary support for the child. Illinois has an extensive network of services regarding child support for both parents. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today. Image courtesy of
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