Hoffman Estates Custody Lawyers
Hoffman Estates has changed significantly since German settlers first arrived in the area. Mostly due to the opening of the Northwest Tollway, Hoffman Estates has grown from a sleepy little village to a thriving town with over 50,000 residents. All these changes have occurred in a relatively short period of time.
Somewhat similarly, the American family has also changed dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Forty years ago, most children lived with a married mother and father who had never been married to anyone else and their pure biological siblings. Today, most children grow up in single-parent, stepparent, adoptive, or grandparent-headed households.
The dedicated Hoffman Estates custody lawyers at Andrea Heckman Law are committed to your family’s success, regardless of its size, composition, or background. As such, we work hard to find long-lasting, cost-effective solutions which benefit your family now and in the future. We also ensure that the solutions we propose uphold your legal and financial rights.
Types of Determinations
“Parenting time” has replaced terms like custody and visitation because this phrase more accurately encapsulates the letter and spirit of Illinois’ new co-parenting law. Before 2016, once parents divorced, they could go their separate ways, even if they had children. Today, things are different. The law expects both parents to assume an active child-rearing role. This law applies in both initial determinations and subsequent modifications.
Traditionally, divorce and paternity orders dictated an every-other-weekend and every-other-holiday division. This arrangement still works very well in many cases. However, some alternatives are gaining popularity. These alternatives include:
- Empty Nest: Normally, the children move back and forth between their parents’ households. In this arrangement, the children stay in one place, usually the pre-divorce home, and the parents move back and forth between different residences.
- Extended Weekend: The cumulative effect of small changes often makes a big difference. Beginning weekend visits on Thursday and ending them on Monday results in a much more even parenting time division.
- Block Scheduling: The every other weekend model is a bit complex. Alternatively, children could spend a week or two with Parent A then a week or two with Parent B. This cycle continues mostly uninterrupted all year long.
Subsequent modifications could significantly alter the parenting time division. Usually, child custody modifications are based on emotional changes, like a residential parent’s controversial remarriage, or geographic relocations. Judges normally approve these modifications if they are in the best interests of the children.
What to Expect in a Custody Case
Good faith is an important element in a child custody case, especially a subsequent modification. If a parent files a custody case for personal reasons, many Cook County judges may promptly throw the matter out of court.
Temporary hearings are an essential part of most initial determinations and a few subsequent modifications. At these hearings, judges typically make preliminary parenting time division determinations. Frequently, as is often the case, these temporary decisions become permanent, unless substantial evidence emerges that they are inappropriate.
If this evidence is available, it usually comes from a social services investigation. If the matter is contested, most Cook County judges order such investigations. A social worker’s recommendation is based on an extensive study of the family and the surrounding circumstances.
Illinois family law strongly favors agreements between the parties. So, if there is such an agreement, the judge almost always approves it. Out-of-court settlements like these reduce legal fees, increase civility, and give the parties more control over the outcome.
Contact a Hard-Working Attorney
Child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the children. For a free consultation with an experienced parenting time lawyer in Hoffman Estates, contact Andrea Heckman Law.