Before a Chicago court can decide on parental rights in child custody situations, it must be determined that it has the jurisdiction to do so. Under the UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act), if Illinois is the child’s home state, or if it was his or her home state within the past six months before the filing and you currently live in the state, the Illinois court has jurisdiction. In other instances, Illinois might have jurisdiction, your attorney can help you determine in which state the case must be heard.
You must present facts to demonstrate jurisdiction when asking a Chicago court to hear your case. You will have to provide the current address for your child and list the addresses of the places he or she has lived and with whom. Additionally, you must inform the court of any additional custody cases or individuals who feel they have custody rights.
The custody of the children is usually one of the most contentious issues in negotiations between spouses preparing to end their marriage. Although the best interest of the children is the sole guiding principle in these situations, parents frequently disagree about what serves the children’s best interests. The physical, and mental, health and wellbeing of the children frequently depends on the interaction of their parents during this critical time. When parents work together cooperatively and focus on the best interests of their child, the most effective custody agreements are reached.
Chicago courts base custody decisions on the best interests of the child. A number of items are considered in determining custody:
- The opinion of each parent as well as the child’s wishes
- The child’s relationship with each parent, members of the family, as well as individuals close to the family
- Whether each parent will work individually and together to foster a close relationship between both parents and the child
- Whether both parents can work cooperatively in raising the child
- The child’s school, home, and community adjustment
- The physical and mental health of every individual involved in the life of the child, including the child
- Whether there would be a danger of abuse or physical harm to the child if place with a specific parent
- Whether one parent is a sex offender
The attorneys at David M. Siegel and Associates have extensive experience in child custody cases and with the Chicago court system. They will assist you in pursuing your rights and securing a decision that helps you maintain a close relationship with your child. Call (847) 520-8100 for immediate assistance.