Child Custody & Parenting Time

One of the most highly contested aspects of divorce is any situation that has to do with children — especially the custody or allocation of parenting time of minor children. As a parent who’s been through a child custody dispute myself, I understand how stressed and concerned you may feel about what your family’s future holds. Fortunately, I have extensive experience handling family law matters and can answer your questions every step of the way.

Determining Child Custody & Allocation of Parenting Time in Illinois

When it comes to child custody and allocation of parenting time, every family court in Illinois shares the same goal: to act in the best interests of the child or children. In order to do so, they take numerous factors into consideration which are defined under Illinois Statute at 750 ILCS 5/602.7, including:

  • The wishes of the child
  • The wishes of the parents
  • The amount of time each parent spent performing caretaking functions
  • The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all involved
  • Any prior agreement or course of conduct between parents related caretaking functions with respect to the child
  • The child's needs
  • The relationship of the child with his or her parents and siblings
  • The distance between the parents' residences
  • Whether a restriction on parenting time is appropriate
  • Any past physical violence or threats of physical violence
  • The willingness of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs
  • Willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Occurance of abuse against the child or other members of the child's household
  • Whether one parent is a convicted sex offender or lives with a convicted sex offender
  • Any other factor the court expressly finds to be relevant

In most situations, it’s better for everyone if the family can settle custody and parenting time matters out of court or in a mediation setting; however, I can tell you from experience that this is not always the most realistic or effective method for some families. When you work with my firm, I can provide you with information about protecting your rights as a parent and can assist with mediation, litigation and provide aggressive representation at trial.

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What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that involves meeting in a neutral location and working out the details of an agreement with the help of an impartial legal professional (a “mediator”). In child custody cases, this means sitting down with your lawyer, your child’s other parent, their lawyer, and a mediator. Together, you work to reach an agreement on these and other factors that affect your children:

  • Physical custody and parenting time of the children
  • A visitation schedule
  • Child-related expenses
  • Decision-making authority (for instance, those related to the children’s education, religious upbringing, and medical care)

As I’ve said, mediation has its benefits. Done right, it can save you a great deal of time, stress, and money. However, if you and the other parent can’t find a compromise on your own, you have other options — litigation included. With me at your side, you’ll have a strong advocate on your side in or out of court.

What Is Litigation?

People tend to think the term “litigation” is synonymous with “trial,” but in truth, there are quite a few steps to litigation before trial ever becomes a factor — that is, if it does at all. Really, litigation is simply the next step to resolving a legal issue when out-of-court negotiations aren’t working.

With my litigation experience, I will do everything I can to resolve your matter before trial becomes necessary (thereby saving you time and money). I will also explain everything in plain terms so that you know exactly what to expect as your case unfolds. However, should negotiations fail, I am never afraid to take a case to trial and will provide aggressive representation at trial.

Child Custody and Parenting Time Attorney in Peoria, Illinois

When you choose to work with my firm, I will immediately begin to review your case and get an understanding of your particular family dynamic and the specific results you’re seeking. I will also work to ensure that your child’s best interests are kept in mind and that your rights are fully protected. If you’re ready to move forward with your case, or if you have questions about your situation, contact Miller Law Offices, P.C. today.