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Child Custody

Skilled Minooka Child Custody Attorney

As a parent, you want to be a strong presence in your children’s lives, providing both the love and the emotional support they need on a daily basis. Participating in simple daily routines, such as getting them ready for school, sharing meals together, and tucking them in at night all provide valuable opportunities to strengthen and nurture the bond between you and your children. When the ability to take part in these rituals is threatened, it can strike at the very heart of this relationship. Child custody is one of the most common types of legal matters dealt with in the family court, and is often among the most hotly contested issues for couples going through a divorce or separation. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, it is important to be aware of recent changes in the laws governing these types of proceedings, and how these changes could potentially affect both you and your child.  

Changes in Illinois Child Custody Laws

Effective as of January 2016, amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act have done away with the term ‘child custody,’ in favor of the more inclusive allocation of parental responsibilities. Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes (750 ILCS 5/600),  the court now defines these responsibilities as meaning both the actual amount of parenting time each party gets to spend with the child, as well as the ability each party will have to make decisions that have the potential to impact the child’s health, welfare, and future. Similar to the previous method of granting custody, parenting time and decision making responsibilities can be allocated to one parent solely, or jointly to both parties. Decision making responsibilities the court will decide on include the following:

  • Education, including the choice of schools;
  • Health needs and approval for medical, dental, and psychological treatments;
  • Religious upbringing;
  • Extracurricular activities.

Factors The Court Considers in Allocating Parenting Time

For the majority of parents going through a divorce or separation, their overwhelming concern is where and with whom their child or children will live. As stated above, in lieu of granting custody to one parent or the other, the Illinois court now seeks to allocate parenting time between both parties. Under Part VI, Section 5/602.7(b) of Marriage Dissolution Act, there are two options for determining where the child lives and the amount of time each parent gets to spend with the child:

  1. The parents submit a mutually agreed upon parenting plan to the court for approval.
  2. If the parents cannot agree on a plan, the court will allocate parenting time between the parties, based on the best interests of the child.

In determining the children’s best interests, the court will factor in the wishes of the children as well as their parents, the children’s current living situation and their current primary caregiver, as well as factors such as the distance between the party’s residence and the children’s current education and social needs. The court may also offer each parent the right of first refusal. This means that if one of the parents intends to leave the children with an alternate caregiver, they must first offer the other parent the right to care for the children themselves.  

Reach Out to Us for Assistance

If you or a loved one is involved in a child custody dispute, contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C. today. Our experienced Will County family law attorneys provide professional legal representation you can count on in sensitive family court matters, defending your interests while protecting your legal rights as a parent.

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Joliet Office

950 Essington Road Suite B
Joliet, IL 60435

Phone : (815) 730-8860

Fax : (815) 730-8865

Minooka Office

500 Bob Blair Rd Minooka,
IL 60447

Phone : (815) 467-0270

Fax : (815) 467-0271

Morris Office

405 N. Liberty Street PO Box 568
Morris, IL 60450

Phone : (815) 942-6210

Fax : (815) 942-6238

COVID-19 Update

We are closely observing the situation regarding COVID-19 and taking all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our clients and employees. All staff are following strict hygiene and cleaning procedures and following recommendations to limit the risk of exposure.

Because our services require close contact and interaction with our clients, we are acting with extreme caution to prevent further spread of the disease. If you are having symptoms of illness or may have been exposed to the virus, please contact us to reschedule your services. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

We are deemed an "essential business" under the Governor's Shelter-in-Place Order, and thus we will continue to remain open and provide services to our existing and new clients during this shutdown. In an effort to remain compliant with the social distancing directives of the CDC, and the Governor's Order, we are closing the lobby of our offices to outside visitors.

Our Joliet and Morris offices will remain open and staffed with attorneys and paralegals, and we will remain available to our clients by telephone, email, or video conferencing at the hours listed below:

Joliet: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Morris: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

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