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How do the Illinois courts decide child custody cases?

In a divorce, there are a host of issues that the soon-to-be-former spouses must agree upon, including who gets what and how much support and alimony will be paid. Although, of all the decisions to be made, child custody is perhaps the most important. After all, property is just stuff. It can be replaced. The formative years of a child can never be undone and a divorce can be incredibly difficult for a youngster to go through.

That's why it's of vital importance that the best interests of the child are valued above everything else. When courts in Illinois decide cases of child custody, they consider a wide range of factors:

  • What do the child's parents consider the best situation?
  • The court will put heavy weight on the desires of the child, especially in the case of older children.
  • How does the child get along with each parent and their respective families?
  • Would the child have to go through a traumatic adjustment period in order to be with one parent over the other?
  • Was their ongoing verbal, physical or emotional abuse going on during the marriage?
  • How amenable are the parents to working with one another for the benefit of the child?
  • What is the physical and mental state of each parent?

Of course, some of these things can be difficult to prove. It may be an invaluable help to have a family law attorney to walk you through the process and make sure that your interests, and the interests of the child, are upheld.

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