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Helping Your Own Custody Case
With more fathers seeking custody of their children than ever before, it is important to realize what things courts consider in determining children's best interests. Courts often look at who performs basic but important services for the kids. If you are not doing all or most of these things, you should start immediately:
Child custody in Illinois and in other states is a fairly common sense concept. It is based on the child's best interest. The statute requires the judges to take the following factors into account:
These are only the required factors. The court can take into account any relevant factor in its discretion. The court's discretion is vast. Other factors could involve:
However, the court is prohibited from considering conduct of a party that does not affect his relationship to the child.
Also, keep a diary concerning daily goings on with the children and/or your spouse. It may come in handy someday.
Once the case gets going, you may be interviewed by a mediator, court appointed mental health professional or attorney for the children.
The following short list illustrates the kinds of things you may be asked:
Either or both parents may be ordered to pay reasonable and necessary child support, without regard to marital fault or misconduct. If the official Illinois guidelines are not appropriate, the court considers the financial resources and needs of the child, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had endured, the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child, and the financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the non-custodial and the custodial parent. Support payments may be ordered paid directly to the court.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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