The Law Offices of Brian A. Grady, P.C.
Attorney At Law

Itasca Bank & Trust Building
Second Floor
9 East Irving Park Road
Roselle, IL. 60172
Phone:(630) 351 - 4466
Fax: (630) 894 - 2528



Determination of Custody


When parents cannot reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation rights of either parent, the court will begin to directly involve itself and make rulings. Because the final custody determination will take some time, parents may seek from the court a temporary custody order if they are unable to reach an agreement regarding the temporary custody status of the child / children. Then the court will order both parties to see a mediator. And if the mediation fails, then the court will set a hearing to make a final determination. At this hearing the court will consider evidence and testimony regarding which situation is in the best interest of the child. The "best interest" is the standard on which the court will base its decision, and the court focuses solely on the interest of the child and not the parent. Though a child may express his or her opinion, the court will have the final say until the child is eighteen years old. The court begins the process giving neither father nor mother preference as to how custody will be determined.The court will then consider a whole range of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child. Ultimately, teh court will determine whwther the parents will have joint custody or one parent will have sole custody.

Here is a brief example of factors that courts use to determine custody:

- Ability of a parent to spend enough time with the child to establish and maintain a close relationship is an important factor in determining custody

- Negligence of either parent

- Time spent during the child's younger years

- Ability to materially care for the child

- Stable home environment (both emotionally and geographically)

- Recommendation of guardian, child lawyer, and / or custody evaluator

- Relationship of parent and extended family

- Wishes of the child / parent

- Mental and physical health of each parent and minor child

- Other best interest factors set forth in 750 ILCS 5 / 602