Child Custody Lawyers Schaumburg, IL

Child CustodyChild custody is typically one of the most contentious issues in any divorce in Illinois because both parents will inevitably want to spend as much time with their children as possible. State law has seen some fairly dramatic changes to these types of cases, as lawmakers decided in 2016 to remove the word custody from the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, such that judges now assign parental responsibility and parenting time to parents.

Parenting agreements are often formulated based on a child’s age, the child’s existing relationship with a parent, the special needs a child might have, and the parent’s ability to adequately care for a child. The modification of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) also combined the incomes of both parties when determining child support awards and eliminated the former percentages to create an income-shared approach under which child support is calculated based on the combined adjusted net income of the parents and resources allocated to a child had the parents remained living in an intact household.

Common Child Custody Disputes

The most common kind of child custody dispute in Illinois typically involves two parents going through a divorce and trying to determine a plan for caring for their children. Most cases will be decided based on what is in the best interests of a child, not so much as whether one parent is better or worse than the other.

Some of the most common types of child custody cases can also involve:

  • Sole or joint custody disputes
  • Visitation and parenting time rights
  • Child support cases
  • Paternity proceedings
  • Parental relocations
  • Custody kidnappings
  • Father’s rights cases
  • Grandparents’ rights cases
  • Adoption cases
  • Post-decree modifications
  • Enforcement actions
  • Interstate or international custody cases

Children do get a limited say in some custody issues, provided that they are mature enough to have the courts give their opinions weight. Judges may take the opinions of children into consideration in some cases of older children, but they will not grant custody decisions when they believe an action will not be in the best interests of a child and children do not retain rights to make a final decision themselves until they turn 18 years of age.

The four areas of decision-making that must be resolved before a final allocation judgment can be signed by a judge will include:

  • Education — Relating to the choice of school, tutors, and specialized services
  • Health Care — Dealing with decisions relating to medical, dental, vision, and psychological needs of a child
  • Religion — Establish the religious beliefs a child will be taught, religious meetings they will attend, and religious organizations and events they will be involved with
  • Extracurricular Activities — Sports, arts, educational, social, or any other activities or events outside of a child’s education

Parental Relocation Issues

Another common issue in a child custody case can involve one parent seeking to relocate, possibly outside Illinois. Before 2016, parents having primary custody of children could only move outside Illinois if they were granted permission by a court, and courts would determine if such moves were in the best interests of children before determining whether to grant “removal.”

The court would examine such factors as:

  • The likelihood that a move would enhance the quality of life for both a custodial parent and a child
  • The motives of the custodial parent in seeking to move and whether the purpose of a move was to defeat or frustrate the other parent’s visitation time
  • The motives of a noncustodial parent in objecting to a move
  • Whether a realistic and reasonable visitation schedule can be reached if a move is allowed
  • The enhancement of a moving parent’s life resulting from relocation, and whether it enhances the life of a child
  • Whether a moving parent remarries a person from another state
  • Whether a parent seeking to move has better job opportunities in another state

The old law also stipulated that a parent granted sole custody or primary residential custody would not need to ask permission from a court to relocate to any other part of Illinois although courts could impose reasonable restrictions on the distances moved. The new law no longer refers to “removal of child,” but instead uses the term “relocation. ”

Under 750 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 5/600, relocation is now defined as a change of residence from a child’s current primary residence located in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, or Will County to a new residence within Illinois that is more than 25 miles from a child’s current residence, a change of residence from a child’s current primary residence located in a county not listed above to a new residence within Illinois that is more than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence, or a change of residence from a child’s current primary residence to a residence outside the borders of Illinois that is more than 25 miles from the current primary residence.

A parent hoping to move with a child will have to send a notice in writing to the other parent, stating that they intend to move. To send proper written notice, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  • The notice must state the date when a parent intends to move
  • The notice must list the new address where they will be moving
  • If a move is not permanent, the notice must state the length of time a parent will be living in the new location
  • The notice must be given to the other parent at least 60 days in advance of a move unless the court orders otherwise.

If a non-moving parent agrees with the move, they sign the written notice, the moving parent files the signed notice with the court, and the move is allowed without any additional court action. If a non-moving parent objects to a move or does not sign the written notice, the moving parent must file a petition with the court asking for permission to relocate.

Parents who must provide written notice of an intent to move include parents with whom children reside the majority of the time, or either parent when a child resides with both parents equal amounts of time. The new law means that parents are not required to seek court approval as often as they once were.

Contact Our Schaumburg Child Custody Attorney

Child custody cases are always difficult and people need to understand that they do not have to resort to shouting matches with their partners because legal representation can be most beneficial in these types of cases. The Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C., will give you an entire team of dedicated lawyers who understand state law and know how to help people achieve the most favorable outcomes in these types of cases.

Our family law firm has offices in Schaumburg and Chicago, but we serve clients in communities throughout Cook County, DuPage County, and the greater Chicagoland area. Call (847) 241-1299 or contact our child custody lawyer online to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Us TodayFor a Consultation