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Child custody in Illinois must be undertaken by a professional

Child custody issues are often contentious in a divorce. Having an advocate on your side who has your best interests in mind can make a big difference. There are financial issues and emotional issues that you must face in this type of situation. The negotiations are often heated because you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have different ideas on what is best for the child involved.

In Illinois, a child custody proceeding is held in court if you are divorcing or separating from your spouse. You must be filing in the county in which the child resides. If you are not a parent to the child in question, the child cannot be in the custody of one of the parents.

Being a stepparent is an issue that comes up quite frequently. In Illinois, the child has to be over 12 years of age, must have been in your and your ex-spouse's custody for at least five years altogether while you were one of the custodial parents. If the custodial parent were to die or become disabled, you may be able to gain custody of the child. The question comes up as to if the child wants to live with you or not and, at that age, they know what they want.

Of course, the court will always try to keep the best interests of the child in mind and will act as an advocate for the child.

As you can see, there are so many statutes and laws that govern custody of a child. You don't have to go it alone. You can have someone in your corner who has your very best interests in mind and will support your beliefs. An experienced legal professional will be able to guide you in your path to provide the best care for your child.

Source: Illinois Compiled Statutes, "Families (750 ILCS 5/) Illinois marriage and dissolution of marriage act" Nov. 07, 2014

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Goddard & Malmquist
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