When a couple is facing a divorce or a lifestyle change, there are many moving parts to consider. Changes occur in nearly every part of a family’s life, and the transition can be difficult. One of the most difficult parts, however, is determining child custody. Both parents want to remain an active part of their child’s life, and fighting for that right can cause emotional upheaval and increased stress.
Fortunately, the legal system allows many different options for child custody. No matter your co-parenting situation, there is a child custody option that will work for your family. Though the process to arrive at a mutually agreeable child custody arrangement can be difficult, it should be reassuring to know that finding an agreement that works for you is possible.
With the help of an experienced Joliet child custody attorney, you can establish a fair child custody agreement that works for both spouses and keeps your children’s best interests at heart.
The team at Vahey Law & Mediation understands the difficulties and responsibilities involved in a child custody case. Our firm can be one of the greatest assets you can have in your child custody case. For many years, our attorneys have been protecting families by helping them create child custody agreements that work for all involved. We can help you navigate each portion of your child custody determination, so the process is as easy and efficient as possible.
As a woman-owned firm, we take pride in representing families as they change and grow. We know each of our clients is unique, and we take the time to listen before developing your case according to your family’s details. As a result, you will never receive cookie-cutter advice when working with us. Instead, you can be assured that all legal help will be tailored to your family’s individual situation.
When most people think of child custody, they think of parenting time, or even the time a child spends living in one parent’s home versus the others. This is called physical custody, and it is important to note that it is only one part of the custody puzzle. Physical custody can be arranged in a few different ways, including:
Of course, different physical custody scenarios may work better for different families. When you work with our Wills County child custody lawyers, we will discuss your financial and living situations, as well as your hopes for custody. This can help us build your case and achieve a custody arrangement that works for you.
As mentioned, physical custody is not the only type of custody established during child custody determinations. Legal custody is the other side of the custody agreement and can significantly impact your children. Legal custody gives one or both parents the right to make legal decisions regarding the child, including healthcare, school, religion, lifestyle, and more. A parent can have both legal custody and physical custody. It is also possible for a parent to have only physical or legal custody without the other type of custody, but these arrangements are a bit rarer.
When seeking child custody, it is a lawyer’s responsibility to show the judge that you are a healthy, responsible guardian for your children. After hearing from both parents’ attorneys, the judge will make the final custody ruling. Ultimately, the court’s only concern is the safety and wellbeing of your child.
If you don’t have an attorney, your spouse’s attorney may attempt to make you look like an unfit parent to earn more custody or monetary support. Unfortunately, if you decide to represent yourself, you stand little chance of holding up against the arguments of a skilled, licensed attorney. When it comes to your children, we do not recommend taking this risk—you simply have too much to lose.
As the court determines which child custody arrangement is best for a child’s wellbeing, the judge considers several factors. Keep in mind that though your preferences will be taken into account, they will not be the only consideration. Other factors include:
Your Will County child custody attorney’s job is to convey your situation to the court, and the final decree will reflect the custody situation that is best for the children. Courts prefer both parents to have access to the children. If you and your ex-spouse are both healthy, reasonable, and stable, you will likely get to share custody if you desire.
Remember that custody situations can change. Therefore, if you are not granted the custody situation you had been hoping for, you may be able to request reconsideration. However, you must demonstrate that you have experienced life changes or extenuating circumstances that render your current agreement impractical and request a modification through the court. For example, consider a father with a history of drug and alcohol use. Because of this, the court granted him only supervised visitation rights. However, after the divorce and custody hearing, he attends rehabilitation and AA meetings and maintains sobriety for two years. He may choose to bring the custody case back to court and ask for a custody agreement that reflects his progress and ability to meet his parental responsibilities. Do not despair if your custody agreement is initially not what you had hoped. Modifications occur regularly, and your attorney can help you build a plan to make changes.
When you begin your child custody case, call the team of Will County family lawyers at Vahey Law & Mediation. We can help you earn the custody agreement you deserve and preserve your time with your children. Our comprehensive understanding of family law gives you an advantage in the courtroom and helps you to feel confident about your child custody agreement.
For more information, please contact an attorney via our law firm’s website.