It can be incredibly difficult for any parent to face losing time to spend with their child. Unfortunately, many divorces in Chicago, IL, require addressing child custody. It is also possible for unmarried parents to end their relationships and decide to raise their children separately as single parents. In either case, parents must resolve child custody through the court, obtaining legally enforceable terms and conditions for parenting time, parental responsibilities, and financial support for their children.
If you have children in Chicago and are planning to divorce your spouse, or if you are an unwed parent seeking a custody order to determine legal rights over your children, Johnson O’Keefe can help. Our team has successfully guided many clients through difficult child custody determinations in the Illinois family court system. We know parents’ emotional challenges and procedural obligations in these cases and do everything we can to help our clients approach these disputes with peace of mind.
It is technically possible to resolve child custody without an attorney but doing so is much more difficult than many parents expect. Even if you think you and your child’s other parent are on relatively agreeable terms, it is natural for any parent to want to fight for as much custody as possible when confronted with legal proceedings that could significantly impact their time with their child. Working with an experienced Chicago child custody attorney eliminates the possibility of any procedural or clerical errors interfering with your case, and you will also be better prepared to make your case for custody.
A family court judge must handle every child custody determination in Illinois. Every family court judge is beholden to ruling in favor of a child’s best interests no matter what a case entails. When parents go to Chicago family court to settle custody, the judge overseeing the case has the final say regarding allocating parenting time and assigning parental responsibilities. Even if parents must resolve custody in divorce and take advantage of alternative dispute resolution, they cannot privately resolve any issues pertaining to child custody and/or child support.
You need an experienced Chicago child custody attorney who can help you gather any documentation you must produce for the court, prepare you for each courtroom session in front of a Chicago family court judge, and address any unforeseen complications that arise during your case. Johnson O’Keefe has helped many parents approach their custody determinations with greater confidence, helping them understand the specific legal mechanisms in play and helping them develop solid claims for custody.
Every child custody dispute filed in the Illinois family court system must be reviewed and resolved by a family court judge. The judge is legally required to rule in favor of the best interests of the children in the case, and they accomplish this by carefully evaluating numerous factors, including:
Ultimately, every child custody case requires careful evaluation of multiple factors, and no two cases unfold exactly the same. Therefore, you need responsive and experienced legal counsel on your side, regardless of how easy or difficult you expect your custody determination to be. Johnson O’Keefe can provide ongoing guidance as all stages of your court proceedings unfold.
The family courts of Illinois recognize that life can easily present unexpected challenges at any time, sometimes influencing the terms and conditions of standing custody and support orders. If you have a child custody order in Chicago, it is essential to abide by its terms carefully at all times, but life could pose challenges that very suddenly impair your ability to do so. Parents must use the appropriate channels when such things occur and request reasonable modifications to their family court orders. It’s possible to petition for a reasonable and necessary change to any standing family court order in Illinois. Instead of a complex appeal that challenges the legal basis of the original order, if you need a change to your custody agreement, you file a petition for modification to the Chicago family court. For example, if you suffered a catastrophic injury that caused a permanent disability, you could be unable to continue meeting your parental responsibilities. A modification request to reallocate custody would likely fall within the judge’s interpretation of your child’s best interests in this situation.
Whether you need legal counsel for an initial custody determination in Chicago or need to make changes to your current custody order, legal representation from an experienced Chicago child custody attorney is invaluable. Contact Johnson O’Keefe today and schedule your consultation to learn more about the legal services we provide to Chicago parents facing custody disputes.
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