Roscich & Marel Law Firm, LLC is committed to helping protect your parental rights. Our Naperville DCFS defense attorney is here to guide you through the process.
The dissolution of a marriage is a life-changing event for both husband and wife. However, a divorce has more potential to negatively impact the lives of the children than anyone else.
At the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, our child custody lawyers in Naperville, believe that although you may not be a couple anymore, you will both always be the parents of your children.
Our child custody lawyers favor mutual agreement on matters of child custody and visitation because parents have an obligation to spend quality time with their children and children are better-adjusted when they have that time with both parents.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Custody Case?
Custody cases do not take as long if they are temporary orders, granted all of the preparation and filing the appropriate paperwork.
Temporary orders can be gathered within two to six weeks, however, the minimum time period for final orders take up to eight months for completion.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Naperville?
The Illinois court determines custody arrangements based on what would be in the child’s best interests. In order to determine this, the judge may consider the following factors:
- the parents’ wishes;
- the child’s preference;
- the child’s relationship with his or her parent(s) and sibling(s);
- the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
- the parents’ and child’s physical and mental health;
- whether there has been physical violence or a threat of physical violence by either parent, (whether against the child or another person);
- the willingness of each parent to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent; and
- whether either parent is a sex offender.
Siblings are typically kept together and in the same household. However, if a child’s special needs or family dynamics require separation, it is possible for the judge to split the children between their parents.
Illinois custody laws also designate that the court should not consider a parent's marital conduct when determining child custody unless it affects that parent's relationship with the child.
Why Joint Custody Is Important
Our law team of child custody lawyers believes that children have the right to have a relationship with both of their parents. You should not try to deny your child the right to spend time with his or her other parent unless there is a serious issue that would justify it, such as substance abuse, incompetence, mental illness, or pedophilia.
In Naperville, what matters in custody is whether our client has been the nurturing parent: The one who taught the child to read and write, took them to the hospital and school, changed their diapers and knows their friends by name.
If our client is in this category, our family law firm in Naperville will fight for their right to custody.
Rules of Custody & Visitation
There are many legal guidelines on custody and visitation that we always want our clients to be aware of.
Under Illinois law, violations could result in fines or imprisonment.
- Refrain from discussing the other parent with or in the presence of the children except in a complimentary way.
- Refrain from discussing finance as it relates to the other spouse in the presence of the children.
- Make all child support payments in full and on time.
- Refrain from interfering with visitation even if support payments are not current. The custodial parent may be charged with contempt of court and this violation could warrant a change in custody.
- Pick up and drop off children from visitations on time unless special arrangements have been made. Personal items like clothing, favorite toys, medications, and information for emergencies should be sent with the children.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol or controlled substances other than professionally-prescribed medications just before during visitation.
- Refrain from exposing the children to immoral behavior or even the appearance of impropriety, including overnight visits by unrelated members of the opposite sex. Custodial parents are subject to the same constraints.
- Make visitation time meaningful.
- Notify each other promptly of any delays or changes in plans that will affect the other parent or their plans. Repeated late arrivals or failure of the custodial parent to be available to receive the children back on time could result in court action to change visitation arrangements.
- Refrain from questioning children about a former spouse’s activities.
- Cooperate with the other parent in an adult, non-aggressive, reasonable, and courteous way.
- Avoid last minute schedule changes.
- Refrain from arguing with a former spouse, particularly in the presence of the children. Pickup and return of the children should be a pleasant experience.
- Refrain from taking children out of state while failing to advise the other parent of their location. Violation of this rule could result in prosecution for a felony and a sentence to the state penitentiary.
It is possible that a parent might accidentally violate the custody agreement.
In that case, the abiding parent could remind the other parent of the terms of the agreement before taking any legal action. If the violating parent refuses to cooperate then that is when the abiding parent should contact an family law attorney.
Because the custody agreement is a court order, the abiding parent can ask that the Naperville courthouse to hold the violating parent in contempt. “Civil contempt is intended to enforce the rights of private parties and compel obedience to orders or decrees for the benefit of opposing parties.”
A Naperville courthouse can only hold parents in contempt of an order it issued. If the parents worked out a verbal arrangement then that cannot be enforced in a Naperville courthouse.
The parent must present actual evidence that the other parent violated the court order.
Under the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Illinois courts have the authority to enforce custody agreements even when a parent takes the child to another state. But it becomes logistically more complicated when the police have to locate the violating parent and the child.
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