Child Custody Attorneys in Hoffman Estates
The American family has changed a lot since the 1970s. Child custody laws have changed as well. Back then, Illinois and most other states had joint custody laws. The “joint” referred to legal custody and not physical custody. Children lived with one parent most of the time. The other parent only had limited visitation rights. Today, Illinois has a co-parenting law. Parenting time is much more equally divided. So are general parental rights and responsibilities.
At Andrea Heckman Law, our experienced Hoffman Estates child custody lawyers have developed proven methods in these cases over the years. Our overall goal is to create a stable emotional environment for your children. This environment must respect your legal and financial rights. We rely on our experience, but we always stay on top of new legal developments. Furthermore, we embrace new and effective techniques, so we stay on the cutting edge.
State law requires that child custody original determinations be in the best interests of the children. Frequently, parents agree with this overall principle. But they disagree about specific matters, like the determination of a residential parent and the details in a time-sharing arrangement. So, state law sets out a number of factors in this area, such as:
- Child’s Current Environment: Consistency and routine usually benefit children. That’s especially true if their current environment is a relatively healthy one. Sometimes, the opposite is true. A child custody determination is an excellent opportunity to turn the page and create a better world for your children.
- Parental Preferences: Many parents express post-filing preferences. They want to be around the children as much as possible or they want as much independence as possible. Other parents express pre-filing preferences. They show little interest in piano recitals and other such events.
- Child Preferences: Legally, any child of any age can express a preference in this area. Also legally, the judge may either take this preference into account or ignore it.
- Domestic Abuse: Verified allegations of domestic abuse, whether it is physical or non-physical, deeply impact a parenting time division. Usually, judges limit contact between children and alleged abusers, at least until alleged abusers complete counseling or other court-ordered requirements.
Nearly all divorce and family law matters settle out of court. These resolutions save the litigants time and money. Furthermore, they give the participants more control over the outcome and help develop a framework for a successful co-parenting relationship.
Emotional circumstances often change. If the change is permanent and substantial, a Hoffman Estates child custody lawyer could successfully file a motion to modify the existing arrangement. The modification could be a wholesale change, like a reversal of the residential and non-residential designation, or some minor tweaks, such as new pick up or drop off times.
No matter how big or little the changes are, it’s important to get them in writing. Only family court orders are legally enforceable. If the parents just have a side agreement about these matters, even if the agreement is in writing, one parent could unilaterally back out of it, and the other parent would have no legal recourse.
Move-away custody modifications are quite common as well. Usually, these modifications are agreed, and they involve some give-and-take. For example, Mother might agree to Father’s relocation if Father agrees to a revised parenting time schedule.
Work With a Diligent Cook County Attorney
Various legal solutions are available for your changing family. For a free consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Hoffman Estates, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. Convenient payment plans are available.