How Do Parents’ Previous Actions Affect Child Custody Cases?
During a divorce, matters related to a couple’s children can often be some of the most complex and difficult issues to resolve. Disagreements about raising children can be a significant factor that leads to the breakdown of a marriage, and these arguments may continue throughout the divorce process as parents determine how they will share parental responsibilities going forward. How parents cared for their children, made decisions, and handled family responsibilities during their marriage may be a significant factor in child custody cases. Some parents may believe that the ways they acted while married should determine the role that they will play in their children’s lives following their divorce, while others may feel that it is best to leave the past in the past and find new solutions as they move forward. When parents encounter disputes about issues related to the custody of their children, they will need to understand how the law may address their previous actions and behaviors.
Factors Considered When Determining Children’s Best Interests
While each parent may have an idea of how they would like child-related issues to be handled following the end of their marriage, the wishes of the parents are not the most important concern in these cases. Instead, family courts will focus on finding solutions that will provide for children’s best interests. Decisions about child custody will be made based on what will allow children to thrive, avoid disruptions to their lives, receive the proper care and education, and maintain positive relationships with both parents.
Child custody cases generally address two types of custody, commonly known as legal custody and physical custody. In Illinois, these are referred to as the allocation of decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. Decision-making responsibilities include the rights and obligations of each parent to determine how important issues related to their children will be handled, including the medical and personal care children will receive, their schooling and education, their religious activities and practices, and extracurricular activities children will participate in. Parenting time, which is sometimes referred to as visitation, is the time children will be in the care of each parent. A schedule will be created detailing when children will stay in parents’ homes or visit them in other locations, including on regular weekdays and weekends and on holidays, school vacation days, and other important dates.
There are a number of factors that may be considered when addressing parental responsibilities and parenting time, and some of these include how parents behaved toward their children in the past. A court may look at previous agreements the parents made about their parental duties and responsibilities or the ways they acted when providing care for children and participating in their activities. How parents have participated in making decisions about issues such as medical treatment and education may play a role in decisions about parental responsibilities. The amount of time each parent spent performing “caretaking functions” in the previous two years before their divorce case began may help determine each parent’s amount of parenting time going forward. Any previous instances of physical violence or abuse may also be considered.
Contact Our Oakbrook Terrace Child Custody Lawyers
Clearly, how parents have acted in the past will help determine how they will share child custody going forward. However, this is not the only factor that is considered, and courts will also look at a number of other issues as they determine what will be in the children’s best interests. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we provide representation for parents in divorce and child custody cases, helping them demonstrate that they will be able to provide for their children’s needs. We work to make sure our clients can present successful arguments in court that address parents’ past behavior, demonstrate a willingness to cooperate for the good of their children, and show that they will be able to maintain positive relationships going forward. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact our DuPage County child custody attorneys at 630-909-9114 and arrange a confidential consultation.