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Child Custody: Are Siblings Always Kept Together?

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinios child custody laws, Illinois family law attorneyThis is a question that comes up frequently in discussions about shared parenting responsibilities and children's lives following a divorce. When a parenting time agreement is determined for a child, the court does so with the child's best interest in mind. This means that the court will create the arrangement that it feels best serves the child's personal development. In most cases, the parenting time arrangement that is best suited to one of a couple's children is the best choice for them all. But what happens when this is not the case? Can two children from the same parents have different parenting time arrangements after their parents divorce?

Yes. Although it is uncommon, there are certain circumstances that can make it ideal for a couple's children to have different parenting time plans.

Relationships Matter

The court considers all relationships in a family when determining a parenting time agreement. If one of the children has a volatile relationship with one parent and the other child has a similarly difficult relationship with the other, the court may opt to grant each child more time with the parent with whom they have a better relationship. Likewise, if the couple's children have an extremely hostile or abusive relationship with each other, the court might decide to have the children reside primarily in different households. Other parties present in either household and their relationships to the children can also factor into this decision.

The Children's Ages Matter

It is not uncommon for a teenager living with much younger siblings to want to seek some independence outside the home. Sometimes, living primarily with the other parent can provide this opportunity. Once a child is old enough to make logical, productive decisions, the court is more likely to consider his or her desires when forming a parenting arrangement.

The Children's Personal Needs Matter

For example, if one of the children in a family has a disability that requires he or she attend a special school, yet it makes sense for the children to live primarily with the other parent, the court might opt to have the special needs child reside in the home where he or she has easier access to the services he or she needs. This might also occur when a special needs child requires substantial parental involvement, allowing him or her to receive it without the single parent becoming overwhelmed or the other children unable to get the attention they need.

Work with an Illinois Family Lawyer

Determining a parenting time agreement can be difficult, and the prospect of your children living in two separate homes can seem unnatural. But under certain circumstances, this can be the best option. To learn more about how parenting time agreements are developed and what you can expect from this process, speak with an experienced Kane County family attorney. Contact the Goostree Law Group today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our firm to begin working with us.



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