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St. Charles Child Custody Dispute Lawyers

Kane County Child Custody Disputes Lawyers

Dedicated Child Custody Dispute Lawyers Serving Clients in St. Charles

When parents with underage children divorce, their top concerns include where the children will live and how often the other parent will get to see them.

When you think about these issues, you should first understand that Illinois law on the allocation of parental responsibilities (750 ILCS 5/600) starts with the presumption that both parents are fit and that the court should not place any restrictions on parenting time "unless it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a parent's exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health."

You should also know that the law separates parental responsibilities into two categories, physical care and major decision-making responsibilities. It is still most common for the mother to have primary physical care (custody) of the children while the father is allocated a certain amount of parenting time (visitation). However, it is increasingly common for fathers to have either primary physical care or shared physical care (joint custody) as well as a share of major decision-making authority.

At Weiler & Associates, Inc., we do not have any preconceived notions about what division of parental responsibilities will be right for you and your family. Our approach is to listen to you first and develop an understanding of your thoughts on the matter and your ideal vision for the future. Then, considering the requirements of Illinois law, we will help you set realistic goals for the outcome of your divorce and direct all of our efforts toward achieving your goals.

Our legal practice is dedicated entirely to divorce and family law, so we have extensive experience with the practical realities of Illinois divorce law and the Kane County family court. You can rely on us to explain your options simply and offer our considered legal opinions and recommendations. But the big decisions are yours to make. We will fully support your decisions as we negotiate a viable parenting plan with your co-parent.

How Are Custody Disputes Resolved in Kane County?

You may think that a custody dispute automatically means a court trial, but a trial is a last resort. When two parents are having trouble reaching an agreement, the family court judge assigned to your case will first call us into a judicial settlement conference. The judge will propose resolutions to outstanding issues. If that does not seem to be working, the judge may require both parents, with the support of their attorneys, to meet with a mediator. Prior to starting divorce mediation, you will be required to complete a parent education program which consists of an online component and a class component.

At any point in a divorce case, the judge or either parent may request the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), an attorney with specific training in child custody cases whose job is to represent the interests of the children.

Other professionals, such as psychological experts, may also be brought into the process to provide an objective assessment and recommendations based on the best interests of the children. The Kane County Diagnostic Center, under the auspices of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court, provides professional family evaluations and psychological services in family court cases. A standard evaluation consists of up to 35 hours of interviews, testing, and analysis that includes all parties involved in the case; it concludes with the submission of a written report to the court.

Through these steps, we continue to aim for a negotiated solution. If not, a trial will be scheduled. Illinois law requires that all court decisions be based on the best interests of the child.

Child Custody Dispute Lawyers Serving Kane County

When you need an attorney who will assertively and persistently stand up for your rights and advocate passionately for your best interests in a divorce proceeding, contact Weiler & Associates, Inc. in our St. Charles office at 630-331-9110. We serve clients in Kane County including the communities of Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Pingree Grove, and St. Charles.

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