The Chicago Family Law Blog

Child Custody in Chicago

Since no one can literally “split the baby” after a divorce, it’s up to the parents themselves to work out an arrangement as to where the children will live (which is then approved by the court). If the divorcing parents are unable to agree on a plan, then either a mediator or an Illinois family court judge will have to make that determination. While “physical custody” is awarded to the parent with whom the child primarily lives, legal custody is awarded to the parent responsible for deciding how the child is to be raised. Joint custody is an attempt to give both parents equal time with their child, the non-custodial parent often spends time with his or her child during a scheduled visitation.

A number of factors go into child custody decisions, including care-taking responsibilities, parental participation and general considerations of the child’s best interests. But when divorcing parents dispute custody claims, a seasoned divorce attorney in Chicago can best represent you and your child’s interests.

Recently in Child Custody Category

5 Ways Divorce Mediation Can Keep You Out of Court

A growing number of couples are turning to divorce mediation before heading to court in an effort to save time and money in an otherwise expensive divorce process.

If the mediation process works, then you're all set. If it doesn't, you can still go back to court to resolve any outstanding issues.

Here are five issues that can be decided ahead of time in a successful mediation:

After Divorce, Who Makes Decisions for the Child?

Internet dating is leading to quite a rise in child custody battles between parents in very different places. For couples calling it quits in the United States, it brings to mind the question of which parent gets a say in how to raise the child, including schooling and religion.

So when a couple that met on OKCupid yanks out the arrow and divorces, who makes decisions for the child? Contrary to popular belief, it's not just whomever has physical custody.

Adoption Rights of a Contesting Biological Parent

In a heart-wrenching case before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a young girl’s biological father fought for custody of his daughter on the strength of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The biological father argues that this legislation prevents his parental rights from being denied and enables the court to undo the girl’s adoption by a South Carolina couple.

It is fairly common to have a distant father return suddenly to block an otherwise straightforward adoption. Any future parent wishing to go forward with adopting a child should consider the following.

Modifying Child Custody in IL: Getting the Court on Your Side

During a divorce, the parties have to determine custody and visitation, but those decisions aren't set in stone. It's possible to modify a child custody order long after the divorce is settled.

That doesn't mean the process is easy or you're guaranteed to get the arrangement you want. But if you can prove your case to the judge, it's possible to alter the custody and visitation arrangement.

It's not enough to prove that you just want more time with your children. The court will be looking for specific factors to determine whether to modify the custody order.

Happy Holidays are Coming, but Parents Have Different Religions

It's the season of holidays, but newly-divorced parents are in the midst of a battle about their child's future. While joint physical custody seems like a certainly, the former couple cannot agree on spiritual issues. Momma is Orthodox Jewish from Brooklyn and Poppa is a born-again Christian from Texas. Though their lawyers are pretty sure that this is merely an excuse to fight, neither side is willing to budge.

That means the holidays won't be very happy. The solution is either more time in court or a compromise between the parents.

Fracas Sends Halle Berry to Court, Ex to Hospital and Jail

For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks (hence the name). For Halle Berry's ex, Gabriel Aubry, it was more like a time to get spanked. Aubry showed up to Berry's house on Thanksgiving morning to hand their child off per the custody arrangement. Halle's fiancé Olivier Martinez met Aubry in the driveway and the two exchanged words before exchanging blows, reports TMZ.

A short time later, Aubry ended up severely beaten, bloodied, bruised, and arrested. Martinez ended up with slight injuries to his hand. He claimed that Aubry threw the first punch, in front of the child. The cops must've found his version of the story credible, as Aubry was booked after being treated at a local hospital.

Cook County Moves Court-ordered Parenting Classes Online

Divorce is obviously going to change things. Out of all the changes, one of the most significant is going to be in how you raise your children. There are no longer two parents present to discipline and watch the child. Decisions that used to be as simple as pillow talk now require calling someone -- who you likely still hold a grudge against -- and coming to an agreement.

It's called co-parenting, which is a new-fangled term for doing what you've always done: raising your children together. The bottom line is you're going to have to set aside whatever caused the split, and learn to work with your ex-spouse in creating a healthy and happy environment for your child.

Three Ideas for Surviving Thanksgiving with Shared Custody

Holidays are a tough time for divorced families. The magic of a holiday is spending time with your loved ones. This is inherently more difficult when you have two separate families.

When custody battles get bitter and nasty, they often end up in a court-ordered settlement that splits holidays and vacation times between the parents. Mom gets Thanksgiving, Dad gets Diwali, and next year, you switch. But for more accommodating ex-spouses, here are a few other possibilities:

Halle Berry Loses Legal Fight to Move Daughter to Paris

Someone turned down Halle Berry? We can imagine that the most beautiful woman in the world is not used to such treatment. However, it seems there is no accounting for the tastes of a family law judge.

Berry lost her custody battle against Gabriel Aubrey, the father of her 4-year-old daughter, earlier this week. She was seeking full custody in order to move Nahla to Paris, where Berry planned to live with her fiancé, French actor Oliver Martinez. This wasn’t her first loss either. Back in June, she was ordered to pay $20,000 per month in child support.

Toddler Found Strolling the Streets Twice, Plus Bonus DUI!

It’s often said that the best family law attorneys are jacks-of-all-trades. They have to deal with contract law when drafting prenuptial agreements. They must be familiar with estate planning real estate law for divorces. Child endangerment charges and disputes about custody with the Department of Child and Family Services also require specialized knowledge.

Kystal Rushing’s lawyer, however, is going to have to be a Supreme Court justice to handle all of her legal issues.