Although in many divorce cases the parents continue to work together after the divorce and provide the best level of care, love and attention for their child or children, in some cases this just doesn’t happen. For these parents, seeing a Lake Forest child custody lawyer may be the first step in getting the children to a better home environment.
Joint and Sole Custody
It is important to realize that in the initial divorce the family court judge, or in the mediated settlement, custody will be determined to be joint or sole. In joint custody, both parents share the custody of the child and decision-making processes, but the actual physical time of the child can be different between the two parents.
Even with joint custody, one parent is typically given more time with the child and is considered the residential custodian or parent. This is typically the parent where the child attends school and spends the majority of the time. The other parent, the non-residential custodian, will still see the child regularly, but it is not required to be 50/50.
With sole custody, one parent has all the decision-making ability over issues with the child. Often a child custody lawyer gets involved when the parent not involved in the decision making is concerned about the physical, mental or emotional well-being or care of child or children. This can also happen in joint custody situations where the non-residential parent wants to become the residential parent.
Concerns of Parents
Typically the courts in Illinois strive to provide consistency for children. While they will consider a custody modification at any time, they tend to want to see at least two years between custody modifications. Your child custody lawyer in Lake Forest may talk to you about issues with the timing of the request for modification, but if the child or children are in danger or at risk, this will take a priority.
As your child custody lawyer will review with you, there are several different factors the court will consider. Remember, it is always the best interests of the child that is paramount to the court. Proving allegations of abuse, drug use, alcoholism, neglect and the child’s overall mental health are essential in custody modifications for the court to overturn an existing order.
Having an experienced child custody lawyer on your side will be essential to provide the information that the court needs. This often involves expert witnesses and testimony to ensure the issues are presented to the court to allow a correct custody modification.
As a child custody lawyer in the Lake Forest area, Michael C. Craven has years of experience in helping parents with all areas of custody and custody modifications. To learn more see us online at divorcelawyerschicago.org.
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