Divorce cases always become significantly more complicated when there are children involved. Not only does the court have to deal with the separation of a couple, but it also has to decide which parent would be the best fit to have custody of the child and create a visitation schedule for the other parent.
Children can have a say in their own custody, but it is not the determining factor. Mature children that make their custody decisions based on school, friends and other positive environmental factors, will have a larger impact on the judge’s decision than less mature children. In the end, though, the court gets the final word in a custody decision.
It is important to talk with your child about the divorce and the new living arrangement as soon as possible so that he or she can make a personal decision, but is also prepared for whatever the judge may decide.
When determining custody of a child, courts not only make a decision about physical custody, but also legal custody. Physical custody is which parent the child will live with and legal custody is which parent(s) has the power to make important decisions about the child like where the child will go to school. These two types of custody can be split any way between the parents.
Siblings are also typically kept together unless there is a strong argument against doing so. Your family law attorney can help you analyze your situation and come up with a solution that will work best for your family.
If the divorced couple arranges custody during the time of separation and up to the time of the custody hearing that has worked, it is unlikely that the court will change that arrangement. The court will only intervene with the custody situation if the children are clearly not doing well.
Although in the past, the mother typically received custody of the children, most of the times that is no longer the case. Parents now have equal rights to the custody of their children, and it depends solely on what would be best for the child.
If you have any questions or are concerned about the custody of your children after your divorce, contact a family law attorney to assist you with the case. Contact Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, PC in Wheaton. Ill. today.