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Areas of Practice

The Law Office of Berry Tucker is proud to provide services in these areas:



Divorce & Family Law

Estate Planning / Wills & Trusts

Real Estate

Personal Injury

Elder Law

Medical Malpractice

Experienced Family and Divorce Lawyers in Oak Lawn, IL and Southwest Chicago Area

Not Just Legal Advice – A Partnership to Share Your Vision

The family divorce lawyers of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. has over 50 years of experience in a number of legal matters, including but not limited to: family law, divorce law, child custody, personal injury, real estate, bankruptcy, medical malpractice, and more in Oak Lawn, IL and the surrounding southwest Chicago area. Our private practice has allowed us to give clients the most undivided attention, applying years of experience and knowledge of current law to unique cases. At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., you can expect complete attention, commitment, and assertion from our experienced family and divorce attorneys.

Divorce Law

When it comes to divorce law in Oak Lawn, IL, nobody knows this are of practice like our attorneys. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. takes divorce law matters very seriously, handling each case with care and attention to detail while asserting the needs and rights of our clients. Within our divorce law services, we handle all of the following: Pre- and post-nuptial agreements, alimony, child custody and support, domestic violence, visitation, division of property, and post-decree issues. With our experience and resources, we will ensure that your rights are heard to negotiate the solution that is most favorable to you.

Child Custody and Support

Many states will automatically favor joint custody for divorcing couples, and Illinois is one of them. This will quickly make the fight for time with your child stressful if an agreement can’t be made outside of the court. But the child custody and support lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. in Oak Lawn will ensure that your parental rights and responsibilities are heard, fighting for both your and their best interest.

Personal Injury Attorneys

As an established law firm in Oak Lawn, our personal injury attorneys have experience with a broad range of accident cases in the Southwest Chicago area. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. understands the pain and suffering as a result of other’s wrongdoing and/or negligence, which is why we will use an assertive approach to advocate your rights. Regardless of the type of injury you have suffered, our lawyers will commit themselves to get you the compensation you deserve.

Real Estate Lawyers

From first-time sellers and buyers to experienced property investors, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. in Oak Lawn can provide keen insight to both buying and selling real estate transactions. Our real estate attorneys focus on efficiency, communication, and diligence in order to attain the best solution for both the client and real estate agent. We are also currently offering a $195 special on typical single family sales transactions!

Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can help you determine whether or not this is the right path for you. Our Oak Lawn bankruptcy attorneys have assisted clients who have been struggling with debt for a number of reasons, including divorce, hospital bills, credit cards, foreclosures, and more. We can help you climb out of this financial turmoil by educating and guiding you through the option that works best for you.

**Please note that the following is subject to withdrawal without notice; terms and conditions apply. Please talk to our office for a specific quote.


Berry K. Tucker & Associates Ltd.

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March 13, 2023During a marriage, the individual lives of the couple become intertwined and they build relationships with in-laws and friends that they know through their spouses.  When a divorce occurs, it can have a major impact on these relationships.  Divorces have been known to turn relationships with in-laws sour which can complicate the proceedings and post-divorce life, especially if there are children involved.  It is normal for a divorcing spouse to sense tension or awkwardness when dealing with in-laws after a divorce.  However, it is in the best interest of the children to keep a civil relationship with the in-laws who are their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. The following information is provided for help managing your family relationships after divorce: Stay in Touch with In-Laws There are certain situations in which divorcing couples decide that they would rather not have any contact with their former spouse or in-laws.  This arrangement is fine if there are no children involved, but difficult to do when a divorcing couple has children.  Your in-laws are still family to your children and they will rightfully want some involvement in your child’s life.  Staying in touch with your in-laws will make this easier and set a good example about the importance of keeping family relationships for your children. Establish Visitation with Grandparents Under Illinois state law, grandparents have the legal right to visit with their grandchildren.  If one of the parents tries to block their former in-laws from visiting with their children, the grandparents can go to court and petition for visitation.  Going through this legal process is a bad look and a terrible example for the children.  You must set aside any differences or animosity that you have with your former in-laws and establish visitation times for your children to visit their grandparents. Always Consider your Children’s Best Interest It is very easy for divorcing couples to forget about the interests of their children as they deal with the divorce proceedings and the emotional toll that comes with it.  However, the interests of your children should be a priority to help them through what is a very difficult experience.  This means keeping a good relationship with the in-laws and acting civil around your children to help their emotional and mental state.  Focusing on the best interests of the children makes it easier for divorcing couples to set aside their differences and find favorable solutions to certain issues such as visitation. The effects of a divorce often spread well beyond just the divorcing couple and they can put a serious strain on family relationships.  When divorcing couples have children, the situation becomes even more complex.  You must consider the best interests of your children in the aftermath of a divorce which will help make it easier to manage family relationships.  If you are considering divorce, talk to an experienced divorce attorney at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.  Our attorneys have years of experience in family law and we can help you work out solutions that consider the best interests of your children. Contact Berry K. Tucker and Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530 to speak directly with one of our attorneys. [...]
January 26, 2023Divorce is expensive, almost as expensive as getting hitched at the altar in a celebratory wedding. When it comes to proclaiming a lifetime union, couples in the United States spend on average $33,391 on a wedding. Divorce, on the other hand, costs spouses at least one-third of the dizzying cost of nuptials. Costs to separate from a once-beloved spouse vary widely across the country. Out of all 50 states, California is the most expensive state in which to get divorced. The average divorce filing fee in the Golden State is $435, with average attorney’s fees hovering around $13,800. In contrast, one of the least expensive states in which to get divorced is North Dakota, with average divorce filing fees of $80 and average attorney fees of $8,200. Illinois is not an economical state in which to legally separate from a spouse. Our state is in the top 10 states with the priciest divorce fees. The Cost – $13,800 On average, the cost to divorce in Illinois is $13,800. Include child custody and support, alimony, and property division into the mix, and financing a divorce sharply climbs to an average of $35,300. Filing Fee – $289 The average fee to file for divorce in Illinois is $289, which is above the national average; while the average divorce attorney fees amble around a stark $10,900. Couples who race toward the divorce finish line must begin their journey by filing for a divorce. The simple but necessary act of filing itself costs a few hundred dollars. Under certain circumstances, like when individuals have insufficient income to pay the divorce filing costs, the fee may be waived. Children – $20,700 Bring children into the picture, and divorce costs skyrocket to $20,700 on average in Illinois. Disputes over child support as well as child custody battles increase the costs of divorce proceedings, especially when a judge resolves the issues. Divorcing spouses save costs significantly when they are able to settle divorce issues involving children before the case goes to trial. Alimony – $19,100 Alimony also drives the cost of divorce upwards, in Illinois as well as in every state. Spousal support or spousal maintenance are interchangeable terms for what is known as alimony. In the Land of Lincoln, alimony spurs the costs of divorce to $19,100 on average. Spouses with unequal earning power tend to fight out alimony battles, leading to soaring divorce costs. The purpose of awarding alimony is to allow the lesser-earning spouse to live as comfortably as he or she did during the marriage. A few situations warranty alimony: 1. After a long marriage 2. When one spouse gives up a career to support the working spouse 3. When a spouse stays at home to raise the couple’s children. The cost of alimony increases due to the necessary involvement of vocational analysts and financial experts. Child support and alimony are two completely separate entities. Child support is intended to benefit the couple’s minor children, with financial aid going to the spouse who has custody of the children. Alimony is strictly reserved to provide financial assistance to the lesser-earning spouse until he or she becomes self-supporting. Property Division – $19,400 High-income couples will have a high-cost divorce. The steep rise of costs in a divorce that includes property division occurs when multiple assets are involved. Couples entangled in the dissolution of marriage will zealously safeguard their retirement accounts, savings accounts, cars, brokerage accounts and real estate. Tax experts, property appraisers, and the financial analyses necessary from legal professionals are sought out to fairly divide the assets between the divorcing parties. A judge who resolves property division matters makes this type of divorce more expensive. When property division issues achieve resolution out of court, the cost to divorce drops significantly. On average, Illinois divorcees can expect to pay $19,400 in divorces that include property division. Faults Increase Divorce Costs Filing for divorce based on fault will ensure the cost of divorce is higher than average. Spouses who claim faults, like impotence, abandonment, infidelity, drug, or alcohol abuse or cruelty will witness the price of their divorce proceedings ascend markedly. Attorney’s Hourly Rates – $260 Illinois divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee of $260 on average to proceed with the divorce. Spouses’ payments include fees for any paralegals involved, legal staff, court filings, financing the costs of expert witnesses, financial analysts, appraisers and professional child custody evaluations. Those starting on the legal path to divorce can expect to pay the attorney’s hourly rate multiplied by the total number of hours the attorney spends to complete the divorce. Work with Experienced Attorneys As intimidating as these costs can be, working with an attorney often proves to be the best option at the end of the day. Especially for complicated situations or if your ex-spouse is working with an attorney, it is highly recommended to work with one yourself. This way, you will be able to secure your assets and establish an effective solution that works in your best interest. You will also be saving more money by working with an attorney to avoid a large percentage of income sent to your spouse for the remainder of your working years. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. The family law firm of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. is experienced in helping couples navigate through and complete their divorce. Both contested and uncontested divorces are expertly handled by the divorce lawyers at our Oak Lawn firm. The combined wealth of experience between the divorce attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. totals over 50 years. The divorce lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are experienced in several aspects of divorce proceedings. Parental responsibilities are included in our services to help win child custody battles. Child support agreements are negotiated as are visitation rights for parents. Our divorce lawyers also help our clients through property division issues, including homes, pets, stock and vehicles, to make sure they walk away with assets to which they are fairly entitled. Experienced with Divorce Cases We are also experienced in settling for the most favorable level of spousal support or spousal maintenance. When post-decree issues, such as changes in income, marital status or employment, arise after the divorce is finalized, the divorce attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will represent you to ensure your needs are met. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. firm of divorce lawyers offers a detailed case evaluation to spouses on the brink of divorce. Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in divorce practices and knowledgeable in current laws, so that you receive the best representation during your divorce proceedings and even post-divorce. [...]
January 12, 2023People involved in a car accident should stop and provide basic information. If any party is injured, the other party must provide aid. Remember, in the event of injury, a hit-and-run incident is considered a felony in Illinois. Here are nine steps those injured in a car accident should take: 1. Call the Police In order to receive proper compensation for injuries, people hurt in a car accident should first call law enforcement. The police will create a detailed report upon interviewing involved parties and third-party witnesses, conducting an examination of the scene of the accident and inspecting the vehicle. Police officials determine who is at fault in the accident. The evidence the police gather proves liability. Keep in mind that the law enforcement report is critical. Without it, the other driver can engage in a battle of “he-said/she-said,” change his story or even deny the accident ever occurred. 2. Obtain Witness Contact Details Witnesses to an accident are unlikely to wait at the scene until police arrive. If the injured persons are well enough to do so, they should obtain witnesses’ contact information. Police will follow up with the witnesses to help determine who was at fault. Witnesses can also testify in court. 3. Seek Prompt Medical Treatment Do not postpone medical treatment for any injuries. Minor injuries related to the accident can turn into major pains if not treated immediately. Furthermore, the longer a victim waits for medical treatment, the more likely the insurance company will argue the individual was not really hurt in the accident. 4. Recognize Common Injuries A person hurt in a car accident should be aware of the injury, which can appear right away and/or worsen later on. Whether the damages are physical or emotional, the injuries sustained as a result of the car accident require immediate and appropriate medical treatment. An injury that results from a car accident is defined as when an individual sustains damage that warrants immediate treatment by physicians in a medical facility or doctor’s office. Injuries can affect a person for weeks to years. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents: Whiplash occurs when the body suddenly lunges forward; whiplash can be very painful. Loose projectiles from a vehicle impact can end in cuts and scrapes. Head injuries can cause long-term problems. Moderate impact can lead to broken ribs or other bones. A herniated disc can occur when one or more vertebrae ruptures or shifts out of place. Knee trauma happens when the knees collide with the dashboard, necessitating braces, crutches or surgery to correct the damage. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an emotional injury that car accident victims may endure. 5. Describe All Injuries Report even slight pains to a physician. The doctor will note the injury in the medical records, which the insurance company will use to evaluate the victim’s injury claims. By not sharing the details of the pain, the insurance company will claim it was unrelated to the accident. 6. Get Diagnostic Tests As soon as possible, take tests that allow doctors to diagnose the injuries. MRIs, X-rays and scans will document any injuries the car accident victim has sustained. The sooner these tests are done, the easier it is to associate the injuries directly with the car accident and receive proper compensation. 7. Attend Medical Appointments Go to every doctor or physical therapy appointment. Failing to follow through with medical appointments may be interpreted by the insurance company to mean that the victim was not truly injured in the accident. As a result, the victim’s insurance compensation will be reduced. 8. Keep Track of Everything Document all injuries, medical appointments, related expenses and treatments. In the event of a lawsuit, which can take two to three years, the injured party will have documentation of all the circumstances surrounding the accident. Details can be readily recollected with a written record. 9. Avoid Giving Statements The victim’s insurance company is likely to initiate contact shortly after the accident, knowing the individual has had no time to speak with a personal injury attorney. Their intention is to obtain a statement that may be later used against the victim when he seeks compensation for his injuries. In vehicle accidents, Illinois law requires the able party render aid when injury occurs, especially when the victim requests help. This includes providing reasonable assistance, such as making arrangements to carry the injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical treatment. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney If you have sustained an injury as a result of a negligent driver or are otherwise injured by a neglectful third party, you have legal recourse. The personal injury lawyers from Berry K Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are prepared to help you receive the fullest compensation for your injuries. In the state of Illinois, victims of third-party negligence have two years to bring their case to civil court. You’ll need an experienced personal injury lawyer from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. to provide expert legal representation before this two-year statute of limitations expires. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will help you have your day in court. Our skilled lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury suits, including construction accidents, wrongful death, birth injuries and medical malpractice. Our team works quickly, so that you are awarded for damages as soon as possible. With a dedicated team of experienced lawyers on your side, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will work diligently to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to replace lost wages and cover medical bills. We also work with your insurance company to resolve your case with speed. Contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Consult Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Our knowledgeable lawyers stay up to date with the changing laws in Illinois. Residents of the Oak Lawn, IL area, are urged to seek the legal counsel from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. as soon as they are injured. [...]
December 21, 2022While still possible, obtaining sole custody for your child will take a lot of effort. Due to Illinois’ preference of joint custody with the condition that both parents are able to contribute to the child’s best interest, keeping them away from your ex can be difficult. But the child custody attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. in Oak Lawn, IL can provide some assistance for your case. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, we can help you reach an effective solution that works in the best interest of both you and your child. The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Due to recent changes in Illinois’ law, the term “child custody” is no longer used. It has been replaced with a more relatable term called allocation of parental responsibilities. This can either mean that one or both parents have physical and legal custody for the child. But the parent that retains full responsibility is allowed the right to make major decisions on the child’s behalf. On the other hand, having full responsibility doesn’t guarantee that the other parent is not allowed to be with the child. Known as parenting time, the other parent has the right to be with the child unsupervised, given that the child’s mental, physical, moral, nor emotional health is not in danger. How to Get Full Parental Responsibility In order to gain full parental responsibility, or child custody, you must prove that the other parent is unfit. This can also be difficult due to the fact that the judge typically favors the allocation of parental responsibility to both parents. So to support your argument that the parent is unfit, you will need some evidence. Documentation such as medical bills, pictures, email responses, police reports, and other paperwork can work in your favor of proving that the other parent is a danger to your child. Additional documentation that supports your position to get full parental responsibility can also help to prove: Their poor employment record. If a parent cannot maintain a job to support their child’s needs, they will most likely not be granted parental responsibilities. But keep in mind that this will not affect their parenting time with the child. Unsuitable living conditions. If the living situation of the other parent proves to be unhealthy or unsafe for the child, this can award more credit your way towards sole custody. If there is any record of physical, sexual, emotional, or drug abuse, this will most likely be your awarding factor of full child custody. The parent must be emotionally and physically capable of providing for the child’s best interest to gain custody of any type. Show You Are the Better Parent for Full Child Custody Despite proving the other parent unfit for gaining any kind of custody, this doesn’t always mean you will get full parental responsibility. So you will also need to prove that you are the better parent. Below includes a list of steps you can take to support your case for gaining full child custody: Discuss the best interest of your child. Prove your awareness of your child’s routines by talking about their daily schedule, extracurricular activities, and habits. Demonstrate your commitment for their psychological wellbeing. Only if appropriate, discuss your intentions of allowing the other parent ample time and influence on child-related decisions. Dress formally for court. In addition to a professional appearance, the proper attire will support your case in proving yourself fit for full child custody. Be ready to discuss the specifics of your child’s best interests. Simply pouring out your love and commitment to the wellbeing of your child won’t be enough; the judge and court must hear what are the specific child’s needs, why, and how you plan to support them. Have all paperwork and supporting evidence ready before court. Practice defending and supporting your case before court. Important tip: Never shoot down the other parent. Let them prove their inability to care for the child through their current behavior. Get Professional Help from an Experienced Attorney In extreme cases where the other parent is abusive on more levels than one, the court will almost always allocate full responsibility of the child to the parent as long as they prove themselves fit. But in many situations, the effort to get full child custody will be much harder. Schedule a Consultation Don’t take any chances when striving for full child custody. Contact the child custody attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. where we can offer years of experience, knowledge of current laws, and additional resources to support your case. Our lawyers have won numerous allocation of parental responsibilities for both divorcing and single parents and are more than willing to help you win yours. Call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530 or fill out a form to set up an initial consultation. We look forward to working with you soon! [...]
November 22, 2022Children are the number one priority for parents. When spouses divorce, it’s up to the courts to decide which parent is granted parental responsibilities. As of 2016, Illinois’ child custody laws utilize the term “parental responsibilities” as a replacement for the familiar term of “custody.” Rearing children is a momentous responsibility, one that requires time, energy, and good decision-making skills. Financial stability, too, goes a long way in meeting the needs of a child. The day-to-day care of a child also involves attention to their daily needs and wants. Parental Responsibilities When a parent is responsible for a child, the adult must ensure their kids are properly nourished, go to school, clean and dressed properly, and has access to medical care. Aside from the practical responsibilities, adults also are tasked with more subjective forms of care. A child must engage in play, and the parent is the one to arrange this. When the child misbehaves, the parent shoulders the weight of dispensing appropriate and fair punishment. Chores are to be delegated to children. Plus, when away, the parent must arrange for suitable supervision. A parent who is granted parental responsibilities of a child is accountable for properly rearing the youth in accordance with accepted societal expectations, many of which are aforementioned. To achieve this end, joint and sole-decision making power are types of parental responsibilities that courts may grant. What factors do the courts consider when deciding parental responsibilities? Judges award parental responsibility based on the best interests of the child—rather than whether one parent is better or worse. Factors the courts consider include the desires of the parents to have parental responsibility and the wishes of the child when it comes to who has parental responsibility. A child’s wish is given consideration but is rarely the last word. A mature child may voice a preference to remain with one parent in order to remain with friends, at the same school, or in a familiar setting. However, the courts have the final verdict when deciding parental responsibilities. A good relationship with one parent is also an influencing factor. The courts evaluate the mental and physical well-being of those involved. The judge takes into serious account if one parent is a sex offender. Potential violence and domestic violence weigh heavily in the court’s decisions. A parent afflicted by psychological or substance abuse problems is not immediately deemed unfit to receive parental responsibility. The courts will first evaluate if the individual is able to parent and willing to receive treatment. However, pursuing treatment does not automatically grant a parent the court’s favor. Current Illinois parental responsibility laws view the mother and father as equally potential decision makers in the life of their child. When it comes to gender, Illinois laws are neutral. Historically, mothers were the primary caretakers, leaving fathers out in the cold when it came to winning custody battles. What affects the court’s decision to grant joint or sole decision-making power? First, it is important to understand the major decisions that affect the life of a child. Significant life decisions include schooling, religion, health matters, and extracurricular activities. When both parents can agree on decisions of significance, the judge is likely to grant joint decision-making power. Belligerent spouses have many more reasons to quarrel when it comes to their child. Spouses who fail to get along when directing the life of their child are subject to a division of power. In hopes to circumvent future legal battles, judges will allocate sole decision-making power to one parent. For more information on how to get sole custody of a child, check out this article. Is it possible to change parental responsibilities? If and when parents agree to make a change to their parental responsibilities, the judicial processes run much smoother and quicker. For legal changes to occur, the parents are expected to file court papers. Alterations to the responsibilities may be caused by various factors. Parenting time changes, for instance. Additional triggers include instances when a different parent pays child support or makes the everyday decisions regarding the life of the child. Also included is when a parent decides upon a new living situation or way of raising the child. When changes to parental responsibilities occur under argumentative circumstances, the battling parents must wait two years from the date of the original order of parental responsibilities to request a change—the exception is a situation when the child is in danger. Especially if the child is faring poorly in the current living situation, the courts will take swift action to remove the child from it. On the other hand, if a child thrives and is well-adjusted, no changes are made. A stable environment is important in the eyes of the courts. What is parenting time? Another type of parenting responsibility is parenting time. Prior to 2016, Illinois laws used the term “visitation”. Judges divide time spent with the child, which may not be equal, between the two parents. Parents are free to request alterations to parenting time without a minimum waiting period. Work with a Child Custody Attorney Children of divorce require attention and care, and their needs are always given priority among the parental responsibilities and child custody lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our experienced lawyers are invested in winning your custody battle fairly and with due diligence, so that your family returns to normal life quickly. Our family lawyers remain up-to-date on the changing laws in Illinois; the result is that our child custody lawyers are prepared at every hearing to best represent our clients. Attorneys from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are skilled in presenting our clients in the most favorable light. The dedication by the family law attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. is rewarded with winning countless parental responsibilities cases. We deliver incomparable expertise in the complex field of family law plus thoroughness during the investigation process to all our clients. Consult a reliable family law attorney from the reputable firm of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. if you expect to be involved in a child custody dispute. Our knowledgeable legal team serves the families living in the surrounding areas of Oak Lawn, Illinois. Get a Free Consultation To receive a free consultation for your parental responsibilities case, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530 or fill out a contact form. We look forward to hearing from you! [...]
October 26, 2022Outcomes of divorce proceedings legally dictate how much time a child spends with each parent and where the time is spent. A wide range of types of child custody agreements are possible. The variations are determined by parents or the courts, and both handle them differently. Terms surrounding child custody arrangements may be agreed upon by parents during a divorce. Child custody mediation helps to amicably resolve differences between parents without having to contentiously battle in court. Mediation may be ordered by a judge or voluntarily pursued. Child Custody Hearings in Court Divorcing spouses who are unable to reach an agreement will require a judge to set an evidentiary hearing or trial. Each parent’s viewpoint is presented and supported with evidence. The judge will make a decision and grant a final custody order at the trial. The custody decree is in writing. Agreements between parents are normally approved by the judge, unless it could cause harm to the child. After the agreement is filed and approved by the judge, it becomes a court order. Any violations of the court order by the other parent can be challenged in court. What’s Included in Child Custody Agreements The written child custody agreement contains a custody and visitation schedule. Within the document are a residential or weekly schedule showing when the child is with the parent, a holiday and vacation schedule and special events schedule (where the normal schedule will change). Parenting provisions are also included in the child custody agreement. Rules are established about how to raise the child. The provisions outline how parents decide on the child’s medical and dental care, education, religious involvement, and how disputes are settled. Types of Custody As mentioned, several different types of child custody arrangements exist. The most common are sole custody, joint custody, and primary physical custody. Legal custody is also available. Grandparent and visitation custody is another a type of enforceable child custody agreement. Sole Custody One parent who is awarded exclusive rights surrounding the child’s well-being has sole custody. This type of custody arrangement is rare and usually occurs if the other parent is abusive or suffers from a drug addiction. Being seen as unfit, the noncustodial parent will have no responsibility over the child. The law separates sole custody into two further arrangements: sole legal custody and sole physical custody. In the former, the parent has the right to choose the child’s schooling, religious instruction, medical care, and other matters concerning the child’s welfare, without considering the other parent’s wishes. In sole physical custody, the child lives with one parent, who does not need to confer with the other parent about how the child is raised. The noncustodial parent, however, will be granted visitation, unless the court views visitation as not being in the best interests of the child. Joint Custody Both parents are actively involved in the child’s upbringing when joint custody is awarded. As in sole custody, the law divides joint custody further into joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or a combination of both. Each state follows its own laws concerning matters of joint custody. When joint physical custody is granted, the child will move back and forth between each parent’s residence. In arrangements where both physical and legal joint custody are granted, both parents will cooperate to decide how the child will be raised, much as they would have during marriage. The courts also commonly award the sharing of legal custody but not physical custody. Under such orders, the child will live with one parent; however, both parents are actively involved in making long-term decisions about the upbringing of the child. Variations to physical joint custody are prevalent. Cases may involve shared physical custody, whereby the child alternates living between both parent’s homes, but critical decisions about the child’s welfare (such as schooling and education) are the sole responsibility of one parent. The most common joint custody arrangements include the 2-2-3 plan and the 2-2-5 plan. Both involve spending alternate sets of days with either parent. Also common is the alternate week plan, where the child spends one week with a parent and the next week with the other. Physical Custody Physical custody arrangements require that the child live with the parent granted such custody. The parent with physical custody provides continual care for the child. Unless unhealthy circumstances deem otherwise, the noncustodial parent will be granted visitation rights by the courts. Visitation rights may also be granted to grandparents if the court determines a relationship with them would be beneficial to the child. Grandparents may be awarded custody of the child in the event the biological parents are deceased or unfit to provide care for the child. A child is more likely to adjust to changes in the family after divorce if the parents are cooperative, respectful and agree on custody arrangements. Parents who manage their emotions amidst divorce are better able to make custody agreements work for themselves and the children. Other Custody Agreements 60/40 Custody Schedule Like the name suggests, a 60/40 Custody schedule consists of one parent or caregiver having the child for 60% or the time while the other parent has the child for 40%. This is a good schedule to decrease the frequency of handoffs compared to a 50/50 custody schedule. The schedule works particularly well when counting the accounting for the weekend time if one of the parents works more during the week. This provides the proper time for a child to spend and maintain a relationship with both parents. Work with a Child Custody Attorney When you seek legal support to settle child custody matters, choose Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.. Our team of experienced divorce lawyers advocate for parents and the well-being of the child. We’ll fairly represent you in court and fight for the most favorable child custody arrangements. Child custody attorneys from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. conduct thorough research and investigations in preparation for your case. We provide resolutions as quickly as possible, so that you and your child can return to normal life sooner rather than later. Child custody matters are confusing and frustrating. But with the family law attorneys from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. on your side throughout the process, you will experience relief. Whether you are a mother or a father, we’ll establish an agreement that is in the best interests of the child. As one of the most respected divorce law firms in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Berry K Tucker & Associates, Ltd. is prepared to fight for your rights as a parent. Spouses on the brink of divorce are encouraged to call us for legal counsel surrounding all types of child custody issues. Get a Free Consultation Schedule your free consultation with Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at 708-425-9530 to get started with your child custody case today. [...]
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