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What Could Harm My Child Custody Case?

 Posted on August 30, 2016 in Child Custody

Naperville family law attorneyChild custody, now known as allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law, is an important topic that comes up for a variety of different reasons. We most often think of child custody during divorces, but child custody issues can also come up between unmarried parents who are arguing about parenting their children, or if two unmarried parents agree on parenting and wish to put their parental rights and obligations into writing. In the conflicted cases, however, if the case reaches a court, the court must rule on child custody issues like parenting time schedules and which parent gets what decision-making authority. Courts look at the child’s best interest when making a decision. Clients involved in child custody situations often ask if there are any factors that could hurt the chances of a court ruling in their favor. While no one can guarantee how a case will be decided, there are a few common factors that weaken one parent’s case.

Being Hostile and Uncooperative

Judges often favor parents who are able to cooperate and be reasonable with each other. This sounds obvious, but, all too often, one parent refuses to put the needs of their children over their own anger. If one parent can prove that the other has been hostile or acting out of emotion instead of prioritizing their children, they will likely have a stronger case for custody. Being unreasonable could lead to a judge not granting shared or joint custody. How can parents be expected to co-parent effectively if they can not even cooperate leading up to their court date?

Not Seeing Your Children

Courts look at the past actions of both parents when deciding important child custody issues. If one parent is not as present as the other, or if one parent does not ever see their children, this can impact the court’s decision. Courts want to see parents who are actually present in their children’s lives. Saying you are present is one thing. Demonstrating that through past actions, however, is what courts are truly taking into account. Court officials expect parents to be present from the time their children are born. Absent parents often reappear when child custody issues come up, but courts are looking for a verifiable past of parenting. A genuine, consistent relationship must be present, one that should have been started and maintained since the child’s birth.

Moving Out

Child custody issues commonly arise during divorce. When a couple splits, one or both spouses usually relocate from their shared marital home to new dwellings. Moving out is common during divorce, but surprisingly, deciding to move out may impact the court’s decision on child custody issues. Even if the move was to avoid tension during divorce, one spouse could say that their partner moving is a sign of parental disinterest. While moving out may not be the deciding factor in most custody cases, courts have considered moving in past cases.

Having an Unsuitable Home

If there is a dispute between parents as to who their children should primarily live with, it is important that both parents have homes suitable for their children. In some cases, an investigator is sent to observe both parents homes. They look to ensure the home is safe and is a suitable place for children to live. Having a home in a high crime area, or one with no bedrooms, for example, may be factors court officials could use against one parent’s claim. Also, note that other residents within a home may be taken into account. If one parent has roommates or a new, live-in significant other, it is important that those individuals do not negatively impact the children’s safety and home environment.

Family Legal Matters

If you need legal assistance for any family related matter, the team at Pesce Law Group, P.C., is here to help. We understand that matters involving children and family members can be especially delicate, and we will work efficiently to uphold your legal rights and protect your family. Call 630-352-2240 to set up a free initial consultation with a qualified Naperville family law attorney today.


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