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How Does an Illinois Judge Determine What Is in the Best Interest of the Child?

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerDivorce can be a tumultuous time for a family. With parents splitting up, children are sometimes left feeling confused and unstable. In such a time of change and transition, it can be difficult for anyone involved to be able to put their own wishes aside and try to think about what would be in the best interest of someone else, but parents going through divorce are expected to do just that. They are tasked with reaching a settlement and parenting plan that would best serve their children, even if it does not accommodate everything they would want. For couples in harsh conflict, this might be too much to ask. When parents are unable to formulate a child custody agreement that they both find acceptable, the court needs to step in and make decisions based on what would be considered to be in the child’s best interest. If you are curious about how such determinations might be made, a DuPage County, IL child custody attorney can answer your questions and offer helpful guidance.

What Goes Into a Judge’s Determination?

If the court needs to take a more active role in deciding what type of parenting arrangement would serve a child’s best interest after divorce, accurate information about the child and their parents becomes very important. In attempting to determine how to move forward, the court will consider several factors, including:

  • What the child says they want
  • What the parents say they want
  • Any physical, mental, emotional, educational, social, or other needs the child may have.
  • The parents’  medical, physical, mental, emotional, or other background and history of abuse from either.
  • What other people like teachers, doctors, babysitters, neighbors, relatives, and other people who know the child and/or parents think.

In cases where it is particularly challenging for the child’s needs to be placed at center stage, the court will often appoint a professional known as a guardian ad litem (GAL). This person’s sole mandate is to advocate for what is deemed to be in the child’s best interest. Their testimony is not the only factor included in the proceedings, but it is carefully considered.

Contact a Lombard, IL Child Custody Lawyer

If you are about to begin what you anticipate to be an acrimonious divorce, a knowledgeable DuPage County, IL divorce attorney can guide you through the process and advocate for a settlement that will reflect your and your child’s best interests. Whether the judge steps in or appoints a GAL, we at A. Traub & Associates have experience handling such matters with compassion and sensitivity. Call 630-426-0196 so we can begin working on your case.

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