Wheaton, IL Child Custody Lawyers
Detailed Family Law Attorneys in DuPage and Kendall Counties
At the Davi Law Group, we focus on the real and present needs of the children in family law matters. We use proven negotiation techniques which promote amicable outcomes and help maintain communications between parents. When negotiations break down, we press hard to secure the best situation for any child because their well-being is one of our greatest concerns. Although they cannot often articulate their most basic needs, our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for solutions that speak to their best interests now and in the future.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Illinois?
According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, a child custody proceeding may be held in regards to the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation of a child. Child custody proceedings may be the result of divorce, separation, abuse and neglect, dependency, guardianship, paternity (parentage), termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence.
Section 601 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act explains the factors courts may use for determining child custody. According to the Act, custody proceedings are commenced in the court:
1. By a parent, by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of marriage or for the custody of the child, in the county in which he or she is a permanent resident or found;
2. By a person other than a parent, by filing a petition for custody of the child, in the county in which he or she is a permanent resident or found, but only if he or she is not in the physical custody of one of his or her parents; or
3. By a step-parent, by filing a petition, if all of the following circumstances are met:
- The child is at least 12 years old;
- The custodial parent and the step-parent were married for at least five years during which the child lived with the parent and step-parent;
- The custodial parent is deceased or is disabled and cannot perform the duties of a parent to the child;
- The step-parent provided for the care, control, and welfare of the child prior to the initiation of custody proceedings;
- The child wishes to live with the step-parent; and,
- Being with the step-parent is alleged to be in the best interests and welfare of the child as provided in Section 602 of the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
4. By a grandparent who is the parent of a deceased parent of the child, by filing a petition, if one or more of the following circumstances were true when the parent died:
- The surviving parent was absent from the marital home for more than a month without the deceased spouse knowing his or her whereabouts;
- The surviving parent was in State or Federal custody; or,
- The surviving parent received supervision for or was convicted of any violation listed in Section 601 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
Key Factors for Making Custody Decisions
Section 602 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is used to determine custody arrangements that are in the best interest of the child. The court will review factors such as:
- The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to his custody;
- The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
- The child's adjustment to his home, school and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
- The physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
- The occurrence of ongoing or repeated abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
- Whether one of the parents is a sex offender; and,
- The terms of a parent's military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if a parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces who is being deployed.
Call (630) 580-6373 Today
If you need assistance with child custody, visitation or removal matters, please contact us to schedule an initial honest assessment of your family related matter. We will explain our approach at no charge, which has an approximate value of $325.00. Should you retain us as your counsel, financing options are available. Please make an appointment at one of our offices in Chicago, Illinois, Wheaton, Illinois, Joliet, Illinois, or Warrenville, Illinois today.