If it seems to Illinois residents that there are more families headed by single fathers than in years past, they're right. A study that came out last year found that back in 1960, less than 300,000 households in the country that had minor children were headed by an unmarried dad. By 2011, however, that number had jumped to 2.6 million. That represents an increase from 1 percent of such households 54 years ago to about 8 percent now.
There are few legal battles that rival child custody disputes when it comes to the value of what is at stake. Under Illinois law, courts are tasked with deciding child custody or visitation disputes based on the best interests of the children involved. That means that it is imperative for parents to be able to prove to a judge why it is in a child's best interest to be in their care.