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Handling custody matters when parents aren't getting divorced

37384825_S.jpgIllinois parents may not need to be divorced in order to experience issues with child custody or visitation. In some cases, grandparents or other family members may try to get custody or visitation rights enforced. When parents are unmarried, the mother is generally awarded sole physical custody of the children. This may change only if the father takes action.

Like in most child custody or visitation cases, those involving unmarried parents may be resolved either through a private settlement or court action. If a case goes to court, the judge will look to establish the child's primary caretaker. He or she also will try to establish visitation arrangements that are in a child's best interests.

In the event that another relative or family friend wants custody, that person will first have to petition the proper court. It will detail the individual's relationship to the child and the status of the parents, who will generally receive a copy of the petition if they can be found. All 50 states have statutes in place that allow grandparents to see their grandchildren. Legal action may help to overcome any interference from a parent after a divorce or separation is finalized.

When it comes to custody matter, the best interest of the child is generally the top priority. This means that a parent may gain custody or visitation even if the other one objects. An attorney may help someone looking to gain maximum rights to a child by representing him or her during informal negotiations or a formal trial. If face-to-face interactions are not possible, alternatives such as communicating by phone or other digital means may be allowed instead.

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