Local Child Custody Lawyers
Handling Relocation and Custody Agreements
Child custody can be the most challenging part of divorce for couples with children. Moreover, judges do not award primary custody to the mother automatically. Rather, the court measures the proposed custody arrangements against the best interests of the child. This can mean a variety of different arrangements.
At Urban & Burt, Ltd., our lawyers handle custody disputes during divorce. We also undertake custody modifications when parents (or older children) seek to change the arrangements. It is important to get the custody arrangement right the first time, as the solutions to other matters in the divorce depend on the resolution of custody. For example, child support, visitation rights, possession of the marital home, and property and debt division can be affected by custody decisions. An experienced attorney can ensure that none of these issues are forgotten when trying to determine the best custody arrangements.
Because determining child custody usually involves designating a primary custodial parent, the noncustodial parent will typically receive substantial visitation rights. This can vary depending on the parents’ work schedules and other considerations, but visitation minimally includes alternate weekends, mid-week visits, alternating holidays and some weeks during the summer. The precise details of visitation depend on the situations of the parents and the preferences of the child, if the child is older.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
Joint custody does not necessarily mean that the child lives with both parents equally. Rather, it means that both parents will make joint decisions about the child’s life. This can include matters such as religion, where the child goes to school, medical treatment and other parental decisions about the life and welfare of the child. Sole custody means that one parent makes the decisions about the child, even if both parents have regular involvement in the child’s life.
Helping Clients Work Out Child Custody Problems
It is always best for parents to try to work out custody arrangements between themselves with the help of their lawyers, rather than having a judge make the determination. This type of dispute can become hard on all parties involved, especially the children. If the parents cannot agree, they may be ordered by the court to participate in formal mediation. The judge may order the appointment of a guardian ad litem, psychiatric evaluation and home studies. Our attorneys work hard to help our clients avoid judicial intervention in their custody disputes.
Contact our child custody attorneys for a free 30-minute consultation. Call us at 708-381-5427 to learn how we help clients act in the best interests of their children. We serve communities such as Harvey, Park Forest and Bridgeview.