Arlington Heights Parenting Time Attorneys
Fundamental values like faith, hard work, and family have always been important to Arlington Heights residents. Illinois’ co-parenting law jives very well with these values. If both parents are to be effectively involved in the child-rearing process, that means lots of determination and faith that such an arrangement truly is in the best interests of the child. To help make this goal a reality, a number of different solutions are available.
The compassionate Arlington Heights parenting time attorneys at Delaney Heckman understand how difficult co-parenting can be in today’s world. It is much easier to fall back into the 20th century routine of custodial and noncustodial parenting. But good parents are willing to go the extra mile for their children, and our professional team is willing to go the extra mile for you. So, we look for ways to help your family survive and thrive, now and in the future.
Most parents agree that parenting time decisions should be in the best interests of the children. However, most parents disagree as to the specifics.
To bridge the gap between broad consensus and specific agreement, Illinois law sets forth a number of parenting time factors to consider, such as:
- Parental Fitness: Not all adults have the mental, physical, and/or emotional tools to be residential parents. The onset or removal of a disability, such as a parent who develops or overcomes an addiction to alcohol, could also be the subject of a successful motion to modify.
- Child’s Wishes: This factor is important, but not as important as some people believe it is. The judge still has the final say. Additionally, under Illinois law, a judge does not have to even consider the preference of a child, if the court considers the child immature or suspects that s/he has been manipulated by a parent.
- Parental Wishes: Some parents express their wishes in direct terms. They want to be residential or non-residential parents. Other times, these expressions are indirect. If a parent showed little interest in the child’s activities during the marriage, this leopard usually does not change its spots.
- Status Quo: By the time one parent files legal paperwork, the parents have usually been separated for at least several months. If the informal parenting time arrangement is working, even if there are some problems, most judges would rather keep it in place.
In addition to the testimony of parents and witnesses, the social services investigation is usually the leading source of evidence in these situations.
Cook County judges routinely order such investigations in contested cases. A social worker evaluates the family and its environment and makes a parenting time recommendation to the court. This recommendation is not binding, but it is extremely persuasive.
The circumstances of most families change frequently. If these changes are emotional or positional, they could support a successful motion to modify the parenting time division.
Remarriage is one of the most common emotional changes. Mostly because so many parents remarry after divorce, that event, in and of itself, usually does not merit a modification. If the remarriage directly affects the children, that is a different story.
Some parents choose partners who have a history of domestic abuse or even child abuse. In these situations, Cook County judges are often less forgiving than the parents. Such a background, especially if the behavior is recent, could overcome the presumption that children benefit from frequent and consistent contact with both parents.
Additionally, most people relocate every few years, mostly to be closer to their jobs or family.
Generally, if the new residence is less than 50 miles from the old one, the relocating parent might not need court approval. However, a long-distance move must be in the best interests of the children. That is different from the best interests of the relocating parent.
Contact a Savvy Attorney
Effective co-parenting is not easy, and solid legal orders are essential. For a free consultation with an experienced parenting time lawyer in Arlington Heights, contact Delaney Heckman.