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Does Our Son Have a Say in Illinois Custody Decisions?

 Posted on July 24, 2023 in Child Custody

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. 

Another factor that determines whether a child’s preferences will be considered is the nature of the case itself. If the parents are unable to agree on a custodial agreement, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem or an attorney to represent the child’s interests. The guardian or attorney can assess and present the child’s wishes to the court.

It is also worth mentioning that the court considers several other elements when deciding child custody, such as the child’s relationship with each parent, their living situation, the moral character of the parents, their financial stability, and any history of abuse or neglect.

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Attorney

Ultimately, every custody case is unique, and there is no definitive answer as to whether your son will have a say in a custody decision. However, the court does value a child’s input and takes it into consideration, especially as they grow older and demonstrate their ability to express their preferences thoughtfully. For legal guidance from well-respected professionals, contact the esteemed DuPage County child custody lawyers with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 for a private consultation.  

Source - https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000

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