When it comes to determining child custody arrangements in the event of a divorce in Illinois, there are many considerations to be made. One refrain that is often heard is that the best interests of the children ought to be at the forefront of discussions regarding custody. This often means, for example, taking into account where each parent lives and their availability vis-a-vis work schedules and other obligations, so that kids suffer the least amount of disruption in their lives and still see each parent as much as possible.
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.
It goes without saying that any child whose parents divorce will feel the impact of that decision sooner or later. What parents might want to consider when they are considering a divorce is the timing of that impact. Immediate child custody issues aside, it might take years for a divorce to really settle in for a young person.
In today's day and age, it is next to impossible to shield a child from divorce. Whether children see divorce depicted on television, have friends at school who are divorced, or have extended family members who have gone through it, kids don't live in a bubble. They will be curious about the idea of divorce, and often fearful that it will happen to their family too.
Many family law cases in Illinois don't necessarily make the news. Families break up all the time these days, so getting a divorce is hardly a novelty. For movie stars, however, almost nothing is private. Celebrities who get married in the public eye often can't expect privacy when they get divorced.
Co-parenting is very difficult for many Illinois residents. Even when a divorced couple's relationship remains fairly amicable, it can be tough for exes to get on the same page when it comes to parenting. And, when the relationship between ex-spouses is adverse - as is often the case after divorce - sharing physical and/or legal custody of children is easier said than done.
Allegations of domestic abuse sometimes come up during divorce, child custody, and paternity proceedings in Illinois. In some cases, accusations are completely false. But, even when claims of domestic violence prove to be unfounded, the accused person's reputation and relationships still take a major hit.
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.