In this Learn About Law podcast & videoblog, attorney Kevin O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law discusses Factors Courts Consider In Determining Child Custody Issues. In a child custody proceeding, the court will make its determination of custody issues based on the "best interest of the child." The best interest of the child is determined on a case-by-case basis by weighing several factors listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) as well as any other factors that the court finds relevant, including those that have been developed by case law.
In this article...

In a child custody proceeding, the court will make its determination of custody issues based on the "best interest of the child."  The best interest of the child is determined on a case-by-case basis by weighing several factors listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) as well as any other factors that the court finds relevant, including those that have been developed by case law. 

‍The factors listed in the IMDMA are:

  • The wishes of the parents; 
  • The wishes of the child; 
  • The interactions and the relationships between the parents and the child; 
  • The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; 
  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child; 
  • Whether abuse has occurred either to the child or to any other person; 
  • Whether the parents have the ability to cooperate; 
  • The living situation of the parents; and
  • Whether either of the parents is a sex offender.

In a child custody proceeding, the court will make its determination of custody issues based on the "best interest of the child."  The best interest of the child is determined on a case-by-case basis by weighing several factors listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) as well as any other factors that the court finds relevant, including those that have been developed by case law. 

‍The factors listed in the IMDMA are:

  • The wishes of the parents; 
  • The wishes of the child; 
  • The interactions and the relationships between the parents and the child; 
  • The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; 
  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child; 
  • Whether abuse has occurred either to the child or to any other person; 
  • Whether the parents have the ability to cooperate; 
  • The living situation of the parents; and
  • Whether either of the parents is a sex offender.

In addition to these statutory factors, the court may consider any other facts or factors relevant to the "best interest of the child."  The following factors have been found relevant by previous case law:

  • The race & religion of the parents and the child; 
  • The parents' work schedules and availability; 
  • One parent's interference with the other parent's relationship with the child; 
  • Whether one parent has made false allegations of abuse; 
  • Whether either parent is living with someone of the opposite sex; 
  • Parents' substance abuse; 
  • Whether the parent seeking custody is a natural parent.

‍The "best interests of the child" is a fact specific inquiry in which the court has very broad discretion.  Because of the broad discretion of the trial court in these matters, appeals of the trial court's decision are rarely heard. ​

Posted 
November 16, 2020
 in 
Text Link
 category

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Similar Articles

Heading

Learn about Law
Indiana
Illinois
Iowa