There are two overall presumptions in Lake County parenting time determinations: The orders must be in the best interests of the children, and the orders must allow children to have consistent and meaningful contact with both their parents. Sometimes, these presumptions line up perfectly. Typically, however, there is at least some conflict. In situations like these, it is important that both you and your children have a strong voice throughout the family law proceedings, which a Vernon Hills child custody lawyer can provide.
At the Andrea Heckman Law, we provide that strong voice. We begin with diligent hard work because successful cases are built one brick at a time. Then, we fight for your rights in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Your family will still need you even after the divorce is final. Our job is to ensure the smoothest transition possible in a way that is fair to everyone involved.
Child Custody Factors in Vernon Hills
In contested parenting time cases, judges use a number of factors to flesh out the presumptions mentioned above. As a general rule, most parents agree on broad principles but disagree as to the specifics. For example, both parents might agree that a child needs extra help in school, but they may disagree as to how this help should come. To assist in these and other decisions, Illinois law lays out a number of factors to consider. Some of them are:
- Ability to Co-Parent: At the Andrea Heckman Law, we know when to be aggressive and when to compromise. Both are necessary to secure a successful outcome. If the parent is too aggressive, the judge may believe that such an antagonistic person would be a poor co-parent.
- Status Quo: Most Lake County judges make interim parenting time determinations within the first month of a case. While these decisions are technically temporary, they often become permanent. As the old saying goes, “possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
- Parents’ Health: A residential parent must be mentally, emotionally, morally, and physically able to fulfill these obligations. If the parent has a disability in any of these areas, no matter whose fault that disability is, it may be a problem.
Other important factors include the child’s wishes and the physical environment that the parent can offer the children.
Resolving a Vernon Hills Parenting Time Dispute
The vast majority of Lake County family law matters – over 80% by most counts – settle out of court during mediation. This process can be an informal exchange of settlement offers over time, or it could be a formal session with a neutral mediator.
In either case, mediation usually has substantial benefits over a trial. The financial cost of mediation is much lower than a trial. The emotional cost is lower, as well. Furthermore, trials are adversarial by nature. Mediation, on the other hand, often sets the stage for successful co-parenting. Usually, everyone benefits from that outcome, especially the children. Finally, mediation gives the parties more control over the outcome. That could mean fewer trips back to the courthouse for modification and enforcement matters.
Sometimes, the finality of a trial is best. If that is the case, we are always prepared to go the distance for our clients.
Contact Aggressive Lawyers
Parenting time disputes rest on a number of different factors and can be resolved in several different ways. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Vernon Hills, contact the Andrea Heckman Law Convenient payment plans are available.