Child Custody Attorneys Arlington Heights
Arlington Heights has changed a lot since it was a whistle-stop on the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad in the 1850s. The American family has changed quite a bit as well. Back then, most children lived in traditional households (a married mother and father along with their pure biological children). Today, these families are in the minority. Nontraditional families almost always involve complex legal and financial issues.
The diligent Arlington Heights child custody attorneys at the Andrea Heckman Law work hard to help your family run efficiently in any environment. We offer cost-effective, long-term solutions in a variety of situations. Through it all, we never stop fighting for your legal and financial rights because that is why we are here.
Parenting Time Factors in Cook County
All divorce and other family law orders must reflect the best interests of the children. Generally, most parents agree on this broad principle but disagree over specific issues. So, to help child custody attorneys in Arlington Heights draft proper settlement agreements, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets out several factors to consider:
- Agreements between the parties,
- Child’s relationship with each parent,
- Physical and mental health of both the parties and the children,
- Child’s preference, if any,
- Any history of domestic violence, and
- Each parent’s ability to co-parent.
The first and last bullets both merit closer attention. Typically, Cook County family law judges approve most agreed parenting time provisions, even if the division is not perfect, as long as they are geared toward the best interests of the children.
“Co-parenting” is a relatively new term in Illinois family law. Under current law, both parents must work together in child-rearing matters. If one parent is obstinate during divorce proceedings, perhaps because that party has a “bulldog” child custody attorney in Arlington Heights, that parent may have a hard time winning full custody.
Things happen quickly in most divorce cases, especially with regard to parenting time divisions. Generally, the judge holds a temporary hearing a few weeks after the petition is filed. The decisions in the temporary orders often form the blueprint for the final orders. So, if a child custody attorney in Arlington Heights is not immediately assertive, the child custody dispute may be an uphill climb.
If the matter remains contested, most family court judges order social services investigations. A social worker examines the case and makes a parenting time recommendation. These recommendations are not binding, but most judges give them considerable weight.
The aforementioned factors usually change over time. Additionally, many parents change jobs and residences rather frequently. Even slight geographic changes may upset the delicate pickup and dropoff balance.
When changes come about, many parents make informal side agreements that alter the parenting time division. Even if they are in writing, these agreements are never enforceable in family court. So, it is important to update the legal paperwork.
In some cases, such as a short-distance relocation, Illinois law provides for an expedited modification process. Any change, however, must be in the child’s best interests. That is not the same thing as the parent’s best interests.
Rely on an Experienced Lawyer
Parenting time decisions involve a number of factors in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Arlington Heights, contact the Andrea Heckman Law We routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.