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What Factors Affect Child Custody?

Divorce can be difficult for most couples, but those who are also parents have more to worry about. If a couple can’t agree on child custody arrangements, the court will typically decide how to divide the child’s physical and legal custody based on a number of factors. Most courts in the United States have an obligation to make a decision that is in the child’s best interests, and the courts of Illinois are no different.

Specific factors each judge must consider include the following:

  • Child’s wishes
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Mental and physical health of all involved
  • Ability of parents to cooperate to make decisions
  • Level of each parent’s participation in past significant decision-making respecting the child
  • Any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents related to decision-making respecting the child
  • Wishes of the parents
  • Child’s needs
  • Distance between the parents’ residences
  • Cost and difficulty of transporting the child
  • Each parent’s daily schedules
  • Child’s daily schedules
  • Ability of parents to cooperate in everyday schedule arrangements
  • Willingness and ability of each parent to encourage and facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child
  • Any physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s parent toward the child
  • Occurrence of abuse against the child or member of the child’s household
  • Sex offender status of anyone involved

The above is not an exhaustive list of potential factors. Each case is slightly different. If you have particular circumstances you think may affect your child custody case, you should discuss them with an experienced Illinois child custody attorney as soon as possible. Wakenight & Associates, P.C. has years of experience assisting families in the state in various family law matters. We understand this may be a difficult and stressful time for you, which is why we strive to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. Let us see what we can do for you and your family in a free case consultation.

Contact us by phone or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you.


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