A group of fathers has banded together to lobby for child custody law changes. The group, called Dads Can Too, believe that joint custody should be the starting point for all custody hearings in Illinois.
The fathers in the group have struggled — in some cases for over a decade — to see their children more often and to become more involved in their lives. The fathers say they are frustrated that they are not viewed as caretakers.
This group believes that judges should be required to award custody jointly unless one party proves that a different arrangement would be a better fit for the situation.
The Current Child Custody Law in Illinois
Under current child custody laws, a judge is given flexibility in making its determination. A judge can award sole or joint custody, and there are many different variations that can be ordered.
Illinois law doesn’t presume that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interests, but gives judges the flexibility to award sole, joint, or any custody arrangement in between. Judges typically like the wide latitude they are given because each situation is different. Judges will also have to manage the case for years to come, so they believe they should have as much discretion as possible.
After a hearing, a judge will rule on a custody arrangement based on the best interests of the child. The interests of the parents are not the central inquiry when making a custody decision.
When deciding what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, Illinois law sets forth 15 factors. Some of these include:
- The wishes of the child and the child’s adjustment to home and school;
- The mental health of all parties;
- The parents’ ability to cooperate with each other and to foster a relationship between the child and the other parents;
- A parent’s prior involvement with the care of the child;
- Physical violence or threat thereof by a parent on the child; and
- The distance between the parents’ homes.
Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Child Custody Lawyer
Our firm believes that both parents have the right to have time with their children. Under Illinois law, even as it stands today, it may be possible for fathers to get joint or full custody.
Our experienced lawyers will evaluate the facts of your case and listen to your desires. We will then strongly advocate for you in court. To schedule your first meeting, contact the skilled DuPage County family law attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC by calling (630) 852-1100.