Mt. Prospect Child Custody Lawyer
Illinois lawmakers recently adopted a co-parenting law. This law presumes that children benefit from frequent and meaningful contact with both parents. This broad presumption leaves considerable room for disagreement, and in many cases, these disagreements fuel bitter court cases.
The Mt. Prospect child custody lawyers at the Delaney Heckman work quietly behind the scenes to resolve these matters. Our efforts usually enable us to resolve issues out of court in a way that upholds your legal and financial rights. However, if we need to go to court to achieve that outcome, we do not blink.
During divorce or paternity actions, the parties have been separated for many months before someone files legal paperwork. So, there is an informal presumption that the current parenting time division is working reasonably well. As a result, the judge typically uses the existing schedule as a framework for the final orders, as long as the current division is reasonably consistent with the statutory factors. These factors include:
- Child’s preferences,
- Parents’ preferences,
- Child’s relationship with step-relatives,
- Verified allegations of domestic abuse,
- Child’s present living environment, and
- Parents’ ability to co-parent.
That last bullet is often the most important consideration, especially in light of the co-parenting law. Many parents hire over-aggressive bulldog Mt. Prospect child custody lawyers. These attorneys contest every inch of legal ground, often without much cause. Many judges assume that parents who are uncooperative at this stage will be even more uncooperative once direct court supervision ends. That attitude is directly contrary to the co-parenting law.
In terms of the actual division, the traditional every-other-weekend division works well in many cases. However, in other situations, a more equal time division is better for the children. Block scheduling is sometimes a good alternative. Children spend about two weeks with Parent A, about two weeks with Parent B, and then the cycle repeats.
The aforementioned informal presumption is absent at this stage. In fact, there might be an opposite presumption. The judge may assume that the current parenting time division is not working well, since someone has gone all the way to court to change it.
The judge will modify the parenting time division if circumstances, usually emotional circumstances, have materially and substantially changed. This determination goes back to the same factors used in initial determinations.
If the motion to modify is agreed, many judges will sign it without requiring a hearing. If the matter is contested, a social services investigation often resolves the matter. Once a social worker makes a custody/visitation recommendation, the judge almost always follows it.
Reach Out to a Savvy Attorney
Illinois law expects both parents to be active co-parents. To speak with an experienced Mt. Prospect child custody lawyer, contact the Delaney Heckman