Illinois recently stopped awarding custody of children to parents and instead began allocating parental responsibilities. While the language has changed, much of what family law judges are required to do has not. There are many myths about what happens in allocation of parental responsibility cases. These myths often prevent people from making the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Myth: Judge Will Decide Who the Better Parent Is
The judge is required by law to make decisions about a child by determining what is in the best interest of the child. The judge must look at a number of different factors when making a decision. Judges are not trying to see who is the better parent. Instead, judges want to make sure children are given the best chance of having a stable life and developing strong bonds with both parents. A family law case is not a parenting competition.
Myth: The Mother Always Wins
While at one time courts often favored the mother in deciding whom the child should live with, that is not the case anymore. Judges are not allowed to assume that the mother’s home will be the best option for the child. Of all the factors a judge is required to consider when making allocation of parental responsibility decisions, the gender of the parent is not one of them.
Myth: You Have to Fight to Show Your Child You Love Them
The idea that you have to wage a heated court battle to show your child that you value them is not only misguided, but it is often destructive to the relationship with the child. It causes the child added stress and makes it harder for them to cope with the breakup of his or her parents.
The best way to show your child you love them is to spend as much quality time as you can with them and to put their needs above your own, even if that means the child lives most of the time with the other parent.
Myth: Once the Judge Makes a Decision, You Are Stuck with It Forever
In a family law case, a judge will issue some type of final order. However, this order is not really the last word in the family law case. The law allows both parents to ask the court for modifications in the future if there is a significant change in circumstances. Even if the case did not go your way the first time, you are not necessarily stuck with the order until your child turns 18. As your child gets older, their needs will change. Even changes in work schedules or jobs can be enough to ask the court for a modification to the allocation of parental responsibilities.
If you have questions about the allocation of parental responsibilities you need to speak with a skilled and experienced DuPage County family law lawyer right away. Call 630-868-3093 to schedule a confidential consultation with Keller Legal Services, P.C.