Child Custody Lawyer

Serving Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown, Logan Square & throughout Chicago, IL.

When the issue of divorce arises within a family, the main determining factor is often what will happen with the children. Bringing children into the divorce equation can lead to many sleepless nights of worry and concern. No parent wants to lose access to their child, and many will stay in painful marriages because they feel that it is better for their children. However, with the assistance of an experienced child custody lawyer, you can start to build a plan for your life that accounts for the happiness of your children, and your own personal happiness as well.

The Happy Home Myth “For The Kids”

“Staying together for the kids” is the top reason I hear for choosing to stay in a bad relationship. What many couples don’t realize is that an environment fraught with arguments, anger, and unhappiness is far more damaging to a child than dealing with a split home. You are the example that your children will remember when they are trying to build happy, healthy relationships for themselves as they grow and mature. This is a major consideration that many parents overlook when deciding if divorce is the right step for them and their family.

Many people find that they are much better able to connect with their children on a real level after divorce because they are finally free of the burden of ‘putting on a show’. Many children are actually relieved when the air is finally clear and divorce is brought to the table. They don’t want their parents to be unhappy, and can often misinterpret the anger that they sense around them as being directed at them. By being open with your children, explaining what is happening and why, and reassuring them that they will still have a relationship with both parents will go a long way to building a healthy relationship with your child long term, even through divorce.

Determining Child Custody

In Illinois, child custody is determined by the best interest of the child. This often includes working with a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to help determine whether joint or sole custody is best, and what the ideal custody agreement would look like, this can include mental health evaluators to determine the capacity for care by the individual parents. It will then be decided by the courts if sole custody or joint custody is best for the child or children in question, done at a custody trial.

Child Removal Process

The burden of proof is on the custodial parent seeking to relocate the children’s residence out of the State of Illinois, to prove such removal is in the “Best Interest of the Children.” If the parents don’t agree the removal process can be a lengthy one very similar to originally establishing custody, with the Court having the ability to order the parents to attend mediation, to appoint a child lawyer, and to order a custody evaluation all prior to the removal hearing.  All of this can be very manageable with the help of an attorney like Michael who has over 30 years of experience in handling divorces.

In 1988, the Illinois Supreme Court established the following criteria to determine if a removal meets the best interest test: (i)  whether the proposed removal is likely to enhance the lives of the custodial parent and children, (ii) whether the motives of the custodial parent seeking removal are good, (iii)  for what reasons the non-custodial parent is resisting removal, (iv) the impact of the removal on the existing visitation schedule, and (v) whether a reasonable visitation schedule can be maintained if the removal is approved.

Winning or losing a removal petition can be life altering, not only for the custodial parent and children, but also for the non-custodial parent. Job promotions, re-marrying and the whole visitation arrangement can be at stake. Whichever side of the removal issue you find yourself on, The Law Office of Michael A. Perez understands the law, and knows how to best present your case to the court.

Other Child Custody Matters

The Law Office of Michael A. Perez represents clients in a wide variety of child custody matters, so please call if you have need for a child custody lawyer.

Other Child Custody Issues:

  • Illinois Child Custody & Visitation Laws
  • Illinois Child Custody: Evaluation Criteria
  • How Courts Determine Child Custody
  • Custody Determination Process
  • Visitation  / Parenting Time
  • Parenting Education Requirement – P.A.C.T.
  • Joint Parenting Agreement
  • Modifications of Custody

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