Child Custody & Allocation of Decision Making
Under the former Illinois law, we used the terms sole and joint custody for decision making and residential custodian for where the child lived and visitation when the other parent saw the child(ren). Now, the terminology is different. Decision-making can be allocated jointly or solely to a parent in the areas of education, health care, religion, and extra-curricular activities. This allows room to negotiate and to factor in how decisions were historically made in the family. There are many factors upon which the court basis the decision on how to allocate these rights, all within the purview of the legal standard of "the best interest of the child."
If the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding decision-making, mediation is a required first step, either through local county resources or privately. If there is still no agreement, the court may appoint a child representative or Guardian ad Litem, which is an attorney on behalf of your child. That person is an additional cost but may be helpful in resolving the issues or presenting the positions or making recommendations to the court. In addition, some cases require the appointment of a mental health expert to interview the parties, children, and others, and make recommendations to the court.
At The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC we have experience in all types of custody cases, ranging from shared decision making, to one parent having the right to make all decisions, and everything in between. We can creatively craft settlement agreements where each party feels as it is in the child(ren)’s best interests or aggressively pursue our client’s position in court, including all the way through a contested trial.
Please contact The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC for a consultation regarding child custody and decision-making.