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What Are the "Best Interests of the Child"?

In a divorce, what can complicate the proceedings is children. Both parents must either agree on child custody and visitation arrangements or allow the state to decide. Even if parents can agree on a parenting plan, the state must still approve it according to certain guidelines. Most states follow similar guidelines regarding how they make this decision, however. Judges have a duty to decide what is in the child’s best interest.

This term refers to what the state considers the ideal or “best” circumstance possible for a child when deciding physical and legal custody. In the state of Illinois, the court presumes the child’s best interests include both parents being involved in the child’s upbringing. There is also the presumption the parents will cooperate to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

The court will also consider some factors when making the determination regarding child custody, including some of the following:

  • Child’s wishes
  • Parents’ wishes
  • Child’s relationship with each parent
  • Child’s relationship with each sibling or other immediate family members
  • Child’s involvement in school and community
  • Child’s home life
  • Physical and mental health of everyone involved
  • Any history of domestic violence or threat of physical violence
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent

Other factors aren't listed here but could be involved in your particular case. If you’re concerned about child custody and what the court may consider the best interests of your child during the divorce, don’t hesitate to contact one of our skilled Illinois divorce attorneys. Wakenight & Associates, P.C. is experienced in helping families from around the state with their family law issues. Let us see what we can do for you.

Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you about your case.

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