Child Custody Lawyers in Decatur, Illinois
The experienced family law attorneys at Bolen Robinson & Ellis receive many child custody questions. Below are a few of the more common ones.
If you need to speak with an experienced child custody lawyer, BRE Law is here to help. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Child Custody: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Joint Custody? Joint child custody means the parents share in making major decisions regarding the children. Joint custody may be awarded if the parents can cooperate effectively, but joint custody does not necessarily mean equal parenting time. Even if joint custody is awarded, child support from one parent may be required.
What is Sole Custody? Sole child custody means that one of the parents has authority to make major decisions regarding the children. Sole custody does not necessarily mean that the other parent is not allowed visitation with the child.
I’m a grandparent. Do I have any child custody rights? Grandparents and siblings of a minor child may petition the court for visitation rights. In determining whether to grant visitation, the court will consider numerous factors. One major factor is whether the grandparent or sibling was the primary caregiver for the child for an extended period of time. Another factor is whether the child resided in the home of the grandparent or sibling.
What is a Parenting Plan? A parenting plan, commonly called a Joint Parenting Agreement, is required when the parties are awarded joint custody of the children. The parenting plan specifies that the parents shall jointly make major decisions for the child, while specifying each parent’s rights and responsibilities. The parenting plan also establishes a visitation schedule that is either agreed upon by the parents or court ordered.
I cannot agree with the other parent on a custody arrangement. What now? The court will likely require you and the other parent to attend mediation. Mediation is performed by a mediator, a neutral third-party that is court appointed and helps parents attempt to reach their own agreement. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the court may appoint a custody evaluator or guardian ad litem to help determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Mediation failed. Will I get custody? Courts use a vague standard known as the “best interest of the child” to determine which parent will obtain custody of the child. Courts consider many factors to determine which party shall receive custody, a list of which can be found here.