At the law firm of Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C., our Joliet child custody lawyers routinely help clients through child custody disputes. Unfortunately, child custody disputes are never easy—for either the parents or the children—and can drag on for months at a time. Our goal, as your family law attorney, is to facilitate the dispute as much as we can and to negotiate an arrangement that will benefit both you and your child.
If you find yourself in the middle of a custody dispute, it is because you and your ex cannot agree on how much time each parent gets to spend with the child. Typically, the court will request that you and your former spouse sit through a mediation session and try to come to an agreement there. If an agreement still cannot be reached in mediation, the case will go to the judge, who will review the mediator’s notes and listen to both your and your former spouse’s reasoning for why you should get more rights. While the judge will listen to what you have to say, the decision ultimately comes down to the child’s best interests.
A judge makes all final decisions regarding child custody based off of what is in the child’s best interests. Factors that the judge will take into consideration include:
The main goal is to ensure that the child’s needs are met.
Unfortunately, unless one parent is obviously unfit to care for the child, it is hard to tell how the judge will rule in a custody dispute. Even if you have done everything right—cooperated with your legal team, with the judge, and even with the opposing party—the case might not turn out in your favor. On the other hand, you can feel as if the judge has favored the other parent throughout the entire proceedings, only to learn that you have won the majority of custody. Furthermore, even if you and your child’s other parent did come up with an agreement in mediation, the judge may reject it on the grounds that it does not benefit the child. They will then order an arrangement of their own making.
While it is easy to feel discouraged if you do not get the arrangement that you wanted, do not let it make you feel like a lesser parent. Sometimes the judge may feel both parents are equally fit, but ultimately decide that the child should spend the majority of his or her time with the other parent because the other parent lives closer to school and only works until three p.m. as opposed to five p.m.
While you can always go back to court for a re-visitation of the custody agreement, most judges will not hear your case until three years have passed. This gives you and your child’s other parent time to determine whether or not the custody arrangement achieves what the judge intended it to.
At the law firm of Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C., our Joliet child custody attorneys want to help you through your child custody dispute and achieve the outcome that you desire. To schedule a consultation with our team, call us at 815-730-8860 today.
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