Going through a divorce is a challenging process, especially when there are children. The issue of the allocation of parental responsibility sometimes referred to as child custody, can be an emotionally charged area that requires careful navigation.
In Illinois, several key factors come into play in these determinations.
1. Best interest of the child
In all states, the guiding principle when determining parental responsibilities is the “best interest of the child.” This means the court will consider the emotional, physical and mental well-being of the child above all else. Any decision made will prioritize the child’s health, safety and welfare.
2. Parents’ wishes and child’s wishes
The court will consider both parents’ wishes regarding parental responsibilities. The court may also take the child’s wishes into account, particularly if the child is old enough to express informed preferences.
3 Child’s adjustment to home, school and community
The court will consider the child’s adjustment to their home, school and community. This includes how changing their living situation might affect their schooling, social life and overall comfort and stability.
4. Mental and physical health of all parties involved
The physical and mental health of both parents and the child can influence decisions on parental responsibilities. The court will consider whether each parent is physically and mentally capable of caring for the child.
5. Parents’ ability to cooperate
Another important factor is each parent’s willingness and ability to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent. The court will also consider the parent’s ability to cooperate in matters of the child’s upbringing.
6. Past participation in decision-making
The court will look at each parent’s past level of participation in decision-making related to the child. This can provide a sense of the parent’s involvement in the child’s life and their ability to make decisions in the child’s best interest.
In an Illinois divorce, these factors help shape the determination of parental responsibilities. Keeping them in mind can help ensure a smoother and process as you work to create a parenting plan that works for everyone.