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How Does Illinois Assess a Child’s Best Interests in a Custody Case?

— June 17, 2022

It’s also worth pointing out that Illinois doesn’t automatically presume that a joint custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

Judges in Illinois who preside over child custody cases are concerned about one thing, and one thing only: the child’s best interests. While the best interests of the child are also prioritized in every other state, Illinois has its own unique way of defining and assessing these best interests. If you are approaching a child custody case in Illinois, it is very important to understand how this all works. 

The best way to approach this situation in an efficient manner is to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced child custody attorney in Illinois. These legal professionals are well aware of exactly how the state assesses a child’s best interests. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can ensure that you are framing every single argument around these best interests, giving you the best possible chance of a positive legal outcome. 

Why Understanding the Child’s Best Interests is Important

Many parents make the mistake of making a custody battle about them. It’s not about you, it’s about the well-being of your child. A judge in Illinois simply won’t care about what you want. They want to ensure the safety and well-being of the child, and these are the only factors they will consider when they come to a final decision. As such, you need to frame every single argument around these best interests. In other words, you’re not necessarily fighting for custody of your child, you’re fighting for what’s best for your child. 

How Illinois Defines a Child’s Best Interests

There are a number of factors a judge might consider when determining the best interests of the child, including:

Child with a water gun
Child with a water gun; image courtesy of ariesa66 via Pixabay,
  • The child’s preference
  • The child’s attachment to the local community
  • The mental health of each parent
  • The physical health of each parent
  • Past instances of domestic violence
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other
  • Sex offender status of each parent

There are many other factors that may be considered, and a judge may use their own personal discretion when assessing and defining a child’s best interests. 

Illinois Doesn’t Necessarily Prefer a Joint Custody Agreement

It’s also worth pointing out that Illinois doesn’t automatically presume that a joint custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. This is unlike many other states, which generally try to give parents an equal amount of parenting time. Illinois’ stance on this matter means that it is even more important to get help from a qualified custody attorney. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Chicago area for a qualified, experienced child custody attorney, there are many legal professionals waiting to assist you. Fighting for custody of your child can be stressful and complicated, but your custody attorney can make this battle much easier to handle. Not only can they explain how custody laws in Illinois work, but they can also guide you towards a positive legal outcome and represent you in court. Book your consultation today. 

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