Tag Archives: DuPage County custody attorney

IL divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced, they may be able to come to a mutual agreement about child custody arrangements, but that is quite rare. In most instances, the two spouses must go through child custody hearings, where a judge will award either sole custody, typically allowing the other parent reasonable visitation, or joint custody, in which both parents will receive custody of their child or children. Of course, during these hearings, you want the best result possible and there are some tips you can follow to ensure that happens.

Your Child Cannot Decide

During the proceedings, a judge will award custody based on what is in the child’s best interests. This means that the child cannot decide which parent they want to live with. Although a judge will weigh a child’s preference when making the decision, and more weight is given to a child’s preference the older the child is, the deciding factor is always what is in the best interests of the child. A judge will also look at the reasons why a child wants to live with a certain parent. For example, if it is only because one parent is not a disciplinarian, that reason will likely not be enough.

Keep Track of How Much Time Is Spent with the Child

A judge will also look at how much time each parent currently spends with the child when making child custody decisions. The more time that is spent with a child, the more likely that parent will be awarded custody. As such, it is important to keep track of how much time you spend with the child. This includes helping them with homework, taking them to extracurricular activities, and driving them to and from school.

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IL divorce lawyerThere are generally two types of custody: shared custody (also called joint custody) or sole custody. Shared or joint custody of a child occurs when both parents have legal decision-making responsibilities about that child. Sole custody is when only one parent has that decision-making capacity—only that single parent can decide where the child lives, what their child’s daily schedule looks like, where they go to school, and more. These two types of custody, joint and sole, are the only two that are typically discussed. If sole custody is awarded to a parent, the other may be given visitation rights, but these should not be confused with custodial rights. However, there is another type of custody that you may or may not have heard of.

What Is Split Custody?

In rare circumstances, a judge may see fit to separate two minor siblings by placing one child with the father and the other child with the mother. This will only be done when there is evidence supporting that this decision is in the children’s best interests. For example, if a 13-year-old brother has made life for his 9-year-old sister extremely difficult for year after year, there may be a benefit to separating the two when their parents get divorced. The level of physical or emotional abuse, however, must be extreme for a judge to agree to split custody. After all, studies have shown that separating minor siblings is often detrimental to their well being and that many children report feeling like they had “lost a part of themselves”. Having the support, companionship, and stability of a sibling is a great help to children whose parents are getting divorced. Having a sibling helps children adapt to new and frightening situations, and to manage the anxiety and depression that divorce brings.

What Constitutes Sibling Abuse?

Abuse is common among siblings and is most likely even more commonplace than spousal abuse or child abuse. Abuse consists of either physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or a combination of the three. Determining the severity of the abuse can be hard to pinpoint and will need to be evaluated by professionals before a decision can be made regarding split custody.

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IL family lawyerSevere injuries and serious illnesses are an unfortunate reality of life that many families must deal with. After all, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is one in there. The odds of dying in a car crash are one in 114, meaning that the odds of being seriously injured in a traffic collision are much greater than that. Hospitalization or a serious, chronic injury or illness may limit a custodial parent’s ability to care for their child. Or, the injury or illness may simply be used against them by the noncustodial parent as a means to receive custody. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, an attorney can represent your and your child’s best interests.

Difficulties a Sick or Injured Parent May Face While Caring for Their Child

Being a single custodial parent is tough enough as it is. Add to that the complications of being sick or injured, a lengthy hospital stay, and potentially an inability to work, and the outcome can be disastrous. The following are a few examples of hurdles that a hospitalized custodial parent may have to navigate in order to care for their child:

  • Financial Difficulties With Medical Bills: Even parents with insurance are at risk of going bankrupt after a serious illness. A sick or injured parent can petition the court for an alimony or child support modification in the event of a serious injury or illness, however. This added financial boost, if it is awarded, can help cover the gap.
  • Taking Time Off Work: Missing work only adds to the financial stress of the situation.
  • Physical Limitations to Care for The Child: Due to a compromised immune system due to cancer, a broken hip (for example), or general loss of immobility and strength, a custodial parent may not have the physical strength necessary to drive their child to appointments, pick up their toddler, or feed and clothe their child.
  • Medical Appointments: Frequent doctor’s visits, dialysis, radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and other medical appointments may get in the way of the custodial parent’s normal schedule.

Call a Hinsdale Child Custody Attorney Today

As a noncustodial parent, you have the option of filing an emergency transfer of custody if the custodial parent suddenly falls sick or injured. As a custodial parent, you may have to fight to hold onto your current custodial rights. The skilled DuPage County child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio can help. Call us at 630-920-8855 today to schedule a free consultation.

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