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Questions to Ask Your Child Custody Lawyer

Posted in Divorce, Family Law on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Navigating the complexities of child custody laws during a divorce can be an overwhelming task. The legal terminology, intricate procedures, and emotional strain can make it a daunting endeavor for any parent. That’s why understanding how the allocation of parental responsibilities works is of paramount importance. It plays a significant role in shaping your children’s future and your relationship with them.

Asking the right questions and making informed decisions are key to ensuring that you and your children’s best interests are served. To assist you in this process, Sabuco Beck, P.C. has compiled a comprehensive list of fundamental questions to ask your child custody lawyer. These questions aim to provide clarity on crucial topics such as legal fees, negotiating child custody agreements, understanding state family law, and navigating complicating factors such as parental relocation.

1. How Are Parenting Time and Decision-Making Responsibilities Allocated?

The first question revolves around the allocation of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Allocation of parental responsibilities encapsulates both parenting time—the time your child spends with each parent—and decision-making responsibilities—how decisions about your child’s upbringing are made. These responsibilities can either be assigned solely to one parent or shared jointly. It is vital that your lawyer clearly articulates how these allocations work, their implications, and how they could potentially affect your situation.

2. What Factors Does the Court Consider When Determining the Best Interests of the Children?

It is also essential to understand what factors the court takes into consideration when determining the best interests of the children—a central concept in any child custody case. These factors can include the wishes of the children (depending on their age and maturity), their current living situation, their adjustment to their home, school, and community, their mental and physical health, and their educational and social needs. Your lawyer should be able to explain how these factors will be weighed in your case and how they can be effectively presented to the court.

3. Can You Explain the Right of First Refusal?

The right of first refusal is another critical aspect of Illinois child custody law. This means that if one parent cannot care for the children during their designated parenting time, they must offer the other parent the opportunity to do so before arranging alternate childcare. Understanding this right and its implications for your family’s schedule and arrangements is crucial.

4. How Can We Navigate Complicating Factors Such As Parental Relocation?

If you or the other parent plans to relocate, it can significantly complicate the child custody process. Ask your lawyer how potential relocations could impact your case, the legal procedures involved, and what steps should be taken to address this issue effectively.

5. What Are Your Legal Fees?

Lastly, it’s crucial to understand your attorney’s fee structure. This includes asking about hourly rates, retainer requirements, and any possible additional charges. This information will help you budget appropriately and avoid any unexpected financial burdens.

In conclusion, asking the right questions and gaining a thorough understanding of child custody law is crucial in making informed decisions for your family’s future. Remember that every family’s situation is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to child custody disputes. Always consult with a qualified legal professional, such as the team at Sabuco Beck, P.C., to ensure the best possible outcome for your family. Our experience, coupled with a compassionate approach, can guide you through this challenging process, providing the support, guidance, and advocacy you and your children deserve.

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