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How to Get Sole Child Custody in Illinois

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While 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 ResponsibilitiesHow-to-Get-Full-Child-Custody-in-Illinois

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 ConsultationBerry-K.-Tucker-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

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!

What is the Most Common Child Custody Agreement?

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Outcomes 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 CourtLaw Books and Gavel

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.

  1. Sole CustodyMother and Daughter Smiling in Sunset

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Physical Custody

    Father and Daughter playing outside

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

  1. 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.Berry-K.-Tucker-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

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.

Can a Parent Legally Take Their Child Away from the Other Parent?

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Sole custody is not favored in court. This type of custody, however, is warranted when the child’s well-being is at stake. So yes, a parent CAN legally take their child away from the other parent. But, when the child is in safe hands with either parent, sole custody is unlikely to be granted. The following are scenarios when one parent may be granted sole custody.

Co-parenting is necessary for a child to be aware of different perspectives and approaches to life. When both parents are actively involved in the child’s upbringing, the child will benefit significantly in the long run. This is why family courts prefer the involvement of both parents in the child’s life.Child Support Lawyers in Oak Lawn, IL

Raising a child requires immense emotional and financial resources and responsibility. When two parents divide the responsibility of child rearing, less friction is experienced in the relationship. In addition, the burdens and stresses involved with bringing up a child are lessened for either parent.

A parent may be unfit to raise a child. Many reasons can cause a mother or father to fail as a parent. A court is more inclined to grant sole custody to one capable parent when the other is likely to harm the well-being of the child in some way.

How a Parent Can Legally Take their Child Away from the Other Parent

  1. Incarceration. A parent who is incarcerated is unable to provide the life essentials to the child. Such a parent is incapable of providing financial resources, adequate shelter, food or proper guidance when behind bars. During the period of incarceration, the other parent will be granted sole custody.
  2. Mental Instability. The courts also look at mental fitness. A parent who struggles with mental health will be required to provide the courts with a treatment plan. If the courts determine that the parent does not possess the mental capacity to raise the child, the other parent may be granted sole custody.
  3. Child Abuse. Protecting the child and ensuring the child’s well-being are paramount in family court. Abuse, including physical and sexual, are not tolerated by the courts. When a parent is found to be abusive, it is grounds for the courts to award sole custody to the better parent.
  4. Neglect occurs when a parent fails to provide the child with necessary medical care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter or other life essentials. If neglect has occurred in the past, the courts will conclude it may continue in the future. Consequently, the able parent may be awarded sole custody.
  5. Substance Abuse. Substance abuse is frowned upon, especially when it comes to the well-being of the child. A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol will experience an altered state of mind and cannot possibly care for the child. In cases of substance abuse, courts will prefer sole custody.
  6. A child must remain physically protected at all times. When a parent abandons the child, does not attempt to make contact or shows little interest in caring for the child, the parent acts as a stranger. In order to promote the well-being of the child, sole custody will be considered.
  7. Out of State. Sometimes both parents may be well-meaning. However, one parent may decide to relocate to another country or state. While shared parental responsibility is an option, most courts will consider the vast physical distance and grant sole custody to one parent.

What strengthens a case for sole custody?Talk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

Requesting sole custody should be done in the best interests of the child. Unfortunately, some parents want to hurt an ex, try to win more child support or attempt to wiggle out of paying child support. Parents may feel an ex will not care for the child as well.

The main reason for seeking sole custody is to protect the child. However, false claims are common in court, which is why a parent who seeks sole custody should be prepared to make a case. Proving the other parent is harmful, potentially harmful or otherwise unfit requires evidence.

Official documents can influence a court’s decision to award sole custody. Testimony from a friend or family member is insufficient to persuade the courts of wrongdoing. Medical records, police reports and photographs, however, are weighty pieces of evidence of neglect or harm.

The courts can also step in and conduct a drug test upon suspicion that the other parent is abusing drugs. A failed drug test is condemning. In some states, an impartial mental health professional can also become involved and provide a custody evaluation.

A parent can also keep track of visits. Long absences between visits can be proven by asking the other parent to provide a photo with the child on a day he or she falsely claims to have visited. Digital photos come with date details embedded within the properties tab.

Although rare, a parent may be granted sole custody. In such instances, the child is legally taken away from the other parent. As mentioned, courts prefer parental involvement from both sides, making it imperative that a parent who seeks sole custody prepare a compelling case.

Work with a Child Custody AttorneyBerry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

When you aim to make a strong case for sole custody, seek the expert legal counsel from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our firm of family law attorneys brings over fifty years of experience in all matters surrounding child custody (parental responsibility).

Our child custody lawyers advocate for the well-being of you and your child. We conduct heavy research, thorough investigations and are prepared for all situations. Our attorneys handle parental responsibility cases promptly so that your family can return to normal life as quickly as possible.

As Illinois family laws evolve, the attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. stay updated on all changes. We have won countless cases that have resulted in joint custody, shared parenting or full custody. In every case, our firm has ensured the well-being of the child.

Contact Us

When you anticipate a child custody battle, turn to the family law attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. We will fight for your rights as a parent and protect the welfare of your child. Our firm serves families in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Call us at (708) 425-9530 to get started with an initial consultation.

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