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Factors Illinois considers when awarding child custody

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Family Law

When parents in Illinois part ways, questions about child custody often arise. In Illinois, the court takes several important factors into consideration before making decisions about child custody arrangements.

Some of the variables Illinois considers when deciding where a child should live and when are as follows.

The child’s wishes and existing parent-child relationships

The court may consider a child’s preferences, especially if the child is of a certain age and maturity level. While a child’s opinion is not the sole determining factor in a custody case, his or her wishes may still carry weight.

In addition, the quality of the relationship between each parent and the child comes into play. The court looks at the emotional bond that exists, the level of support each parent provides and each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs.

Each parent’s willingness to cooperate

Courts prefer parents who demonstrate a willingness to work together to make important decisions for the child’s upbringing.

Stability and routine

Maintaining stability and a consistent routine is crucial for a child’s well-being. The court considers whether each parent can provide a stable home environment and adhere to a routine that benefits the child.

Proximity of residences

The geographical location of each parent’s residence also falls under the microscope in a custody case. Courts consider how far apart the parents live and how that might impact the child’s daily life.

History of abuse

Any history of abuse, whether towards the child or the other parent, is also a determining factor in a custody case. The court’s priority is ensuring the safety of the child. When allocating decision-making responsibilities, courts typically do not consider parental conduct that has no impact on the relationship between the parent and child.

While Illinois courts consider a wide range of factors when making custody decisions, their primary goal is to advocate for the child’s best interests.