Parents in Illinois will generally share custody and visitation rights to their children. Therefore, they will generally need to decide ahead of time how they will make the transition from one parent to the other easier on themselves and their children. Ideally, parents will spend time creating a plan that includes details such as when and where transitions will occur. The children should also be notified in advance so that they know what to expect.
Going through a divorce in Illinois can be stressful, especially if there are children involved. Parents who are attempting to co-parent using a joint custody setup should keep in mind that the point of the exercise is to work together for the good of the children. When in doubt, it's a good idea to try to see the situation from the perspective of the child to the extent possible. Adjusting to life with only one parent at a time can be difficult.
Family law judges in Illinois and around the country are sometimes tasked with making very difficult decisions, particularly when the welfare of a young child is involved. It is not unknown for parents embroiled in bitter custody disputes to hurl incendiary allegations at one another, and the decisions that judges make are often based on which parent they believe. According to some experts, judges are often guided in these situations by popular but unproven theories, pseudo experts and their own biases.
Parents in Illinois and throughout the country typically want to be involved in their children's lives. However, it may not always be in a child's best interest to interact on a regular basis with mom or dad. If a parent is denied custody, there may be things that parents can do to obtain custody in the future. For instance, a judge may allow custody after completing a parenting class or going to rehab.
When someone other than a child's parent gets custody of that child, it is referred to as third-party custody. This generally only takes place when the biological parents either don't want their children or are unable to take care of them. Those in Illinois and elsewhere who want to obtain custody of a child must first show that they have standing to do so. For instance, a court may find that the person whom the child lives with could become a child's legal parent.
Typically, a court will allow noncustodial parents in Illinois to see their children after a divorce. In some cases, a judge will order that visitation happen under the supervision of another person or occur in a public place. In some cases, visitation rights are granted under the condition that a parent seek help for an anger, substance abuse or other type of problem.
While every family court judge tries to rule in the best interest of the child in each case, the reality is that mistakes happen. In custody cases in Illinois and across the United States, judges may make a judgment call that isn't right. Thankfully, parents have the right to appeal most custody orders, but the rules regarding these appeals can vary between one state and another.
Under certain circumstances, an Illinois parent may need to turn over their children to another adult for a short period of time. This is referred to as temporary guardianship when the other adult isn't the other parent. A parent raising a child on their own may need to take this action if, for example, they were going to be out of town for an extended period or incapacitated while recovering from surgery. Establishing temporary guardianship allows a child to live with a non-parent adult who would be responsible for that child's care and well-being.
Sometimes, a parent in Illinois will object to children staying at their other parent's home due to inadequate living accommodations. A child custody dispute could end up in family court where a judge will examine the situation and decide the issue. Although judges have some leeway when deciding individual cases, they will evaluate a parent's living accommodations, according to basic guidelines.