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Wheaton, IL child custody lawyerIn Illinois, when it comes to custody decisions, there are certain factors that the court takes into consideration to determine what is in the best interests of the child. While the perspective of the child may not be the sole deciding factor, Illinois law recognizes that the child’s wishes are important and, therefore, ought to be considered. If you have questions regarding custody or any matters related to family law or divorce, contact an attorney to ensure you are able to make well-informed decisions regarding your legal rights.

What Does the Law in Illinois Say?

Regarding custody decisions, the court’s greatest concern is preserving the child’s best interests. The best interest of the child standard encourages the involvement of both parents in the child’s life and prioritizes the child’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Additionally, the child’s age and maturity level play a significant role in how much weight is given to their preferences. Illinois law does not explicitly state a minimum age at which a child’s preferences may be considered. Still, the court generally takes into account the child’s developmental state and their ability to articulate their wishes. It is more common for older children, typically those in their teenage years, to have their voices heard. 


Wheaton, IL child custody lawyerChild custody battles can be emotionally and legally challenging for all parties involved. It is a common misconception that Illinois courts automatically favor mothers in custody proceedings. While historically there may have been a preference for maternal custody, modern legal practices prioritize, first and foremost, the best interests of the child. Today, we will explore the factors Illinois courts consider when determining custody arrangements while also debunking the idea of a “mother bias.” Work with your attorney to learn more about what you can do to ensure you have a favorable chance at receiving the custody arrangement most desirable to you and best for your child. 

Legal Standards and Considerations

First, courts in Illinois do not care what the gender of the parents is when determining custody arrangements. Instead, the guiding principle behind all decisions relating to children is what is in their best interests. Courts evaluate a variety of factors to reach a fair and just decision, including parental caretaking, history of abuse or neglect, the mental and physical state of each parent, as well as the child’s educational and day-t0-day needs.

The Gender Bias Myth

At one point in history, stereotypes and traditional gender roles may have influenced custody decisions, and mothers are often assumed to be in the primary caregiving role. This has led to the persistent belief that courts automatically favor mothers. However, Illinois courts have actively worked to eliminate this bias and prioritize gender-neutral determinations based on the child’s best interests alone. Judges base their decisions on comprehensive evaluations of the parents’ abilities to provide a stable and nurturing environment.


wheaton divorce lawyerWhen a divorce proceeding involves kids, it is essential for parents to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children. One such decision is the relocation of a child after a divorce. Relocation can be a challenging process and can cause disruption in the child’s life. Therefore, it is important to consider various factors before relocating a child after a divorce in Illinois. For legal assistance on this matter, contact an experienced family law attorney to get the relocation process started.

Here is What to Consider When Relocating with Your Child

The first essential consideration is to analyze the existing parenting plan and custody arrangement. When seeing whether court approval will be required for the move, this will depend on the distance of the move and in what county the child currently lives. For instance, if the child lives in one of the collar counties of Chicago, which are Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will counties, court approval will not be required for a move of 25 miles or less, regardless if the move will be in-state or out-of-state.If the move is 25 miles or more, court approval will be required, regardless of whether the move is in-state or out-of-state. 

If the child currently resides outside of one of the collar counties of Chicago, court approval is not required for a move of 50 miles or less. That said, court approval will always be required even in counties that are not collar counties if you move 25 miles and out-of-state. 


wheaton child custody lawyerParenting plans are an essential part of any divorce in Illinois when children are involved. These plans are responsible for outlining the allocation of parental responsibilities of both parents, which affects how essential decisions will be made about the child’s upbringing. The parenting plan also outlines how parents will handle parenting time, or the time each parent spends with the child.

Unfortunately, there are times when a parent breaches the parenting plan agreement, leading to a range of countermeasures, including taking legal action against that spouse. Contact an experienced family law attorney to understand your legal options if your ex-husband has repeatedly violated the parenting plan.

Here is What to Do if Your Ex-Husband is Violating the Parenting Plan

If your former husband regularly violates the parenting plan, here are some steps to consider taking, including:


wheaton divorce lawyerIn divorce cases involving children, a child custody evaluator may play a critical role in determining the best interests of children involved in custody disputes. They are typically court-appointed professionals with specialized training and experience in child psychology, family dynamics, and relevant laws. A child custody evaluator's main objective is to provide a recommendation to the court regarding what parenting arrangement will serve the child's best interests. 

Child custody can be an extremely contentious issue. If you are getting a divorce and are going through a complex or combative child custody dispute, working with an attorney who has dealt with child custody evaluators can make a positive difference in easing your stress and can provide you with guidance as you work through this important process. 

What Does the Child Evaluator Do?

The evaluator starts the process by conducting a thorough assessment of the family, including interviews with the parents, children, and other relevant individuals such as extended family members, teachers, and therapists. They will also review relevant documentation such as school and medical records and may observe parenting interactions to gain insight into each parent's relationship with the child. 

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