Mchenry Child Custody
At Bruning & Associates, P.C., we have the experience and knowledge to guide you in making informed decisions regarding child custody options. Our team will be at your side to protect your rights as a parent, so please contact our firm today. We can set up a no-cost consultation with a McHenry child custody attorney, and some general information may also be helpful.
Overview of Illinois Parental Responsibilities Laws
- Health care
- Extracurricular activities
- Travel and entertainment
- Many other important decisions
Child custody will become an issue as soon as you file for divorce since parents will need a temporary arrangement for parental responsibilities during the proceedings. All determinations in this area must serve the child’s best interests, a set of statutory factors designed to ensure the care, comfort, and other needs of the child are met. The child’s best interests are paramount to the parents’ rights, though parents are not left out.
- The mental and physical health of all parties
- The child’s wishes, if appropriate considering age and maturity
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- The parents’ ability to cooperate and support each other, compared to the level of conflict that may affect shared decision making
Allocation of parental responsibilities also impacts other aspects of raising the child. Though parents may have equal right to participate in decision making, the child will primarily reside with one parent for school and convenience purposes. The non-residential parent will have visitation rights, now known as parenting time. Illinois child support guidelines determine the details, but the nonresidential parent will also usually pay support.
Strategies for Custody & Parental Responsibilities
1. Parenting Plan Agreements: Parents are encouraged to compromise on child custody through an agreed-upon parenting plan, which should also include details on visitation. The benefits are avoiding a trial, faster time to resolution, and reduced legal fees. Plus, parents can be creative in crafting a solution that works for their lifestyles. The judge will still review the parenting plan agreement, but will usually approve a custody arrangement that serves the child’s best interests.
2. Mediation: When parents cannot compromise on some or all custody issues, they can choose to participate in mediation; in these cases, the court will often order it. During the process, the parties and lawyers sit down with a mediation professional who has special training. Through productive conversations, parents can get closer together on an agreement.
3. Contested Child Custody Hearings: When disputes over parental responsibilities remain, the court will conduct a trial. The judge will be focusing on the child’s best interests factors, so it is essential to have solid evidence to support your position.
Post-Divorce Child Custody Issues
A child custody order has the effect of law, so a parent might need to take enforcement action when the other violates the terms. One or two minor slip-ups may not be a concern, but repeated misconduct could lead the court to alter the allocation of parental responsibilities.
Each parent’s situation is likely to change over the years after their divorce. Because there is a binding child custody order in effect, the legal remedy is modification. The parent seeking to alter the arrangement must file a petition alleging a substantial change in circumstances, along with solid evidence demonstrating why the modification is in the child’s best interests. The other parent will have the opportunity to contest changes and request that the judge allow the status quo to remain effective.
Petitions for Relocation
When the modification of custody related to one parent moving to a new residence, a special set of rules applies. Long-distance and out-of-state relocations require approval from the court because they have such a significant impact on parental responsibilities and visitation.
Speak to a McHenry Child Custody Lawyer for Free
You can count on the McHenry child custody lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. to support you with parenting plan agreements, mediation, and contested hearings. Please contact our firm today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a child custody attorney today. In addition to McHenry, we have several offices conveniently located nearby in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake, Illinois.