Woodridge Child Custody Lawyer

Our Child Custody Lawyer Helps With Custody Issues

Going through a divorce is difficult enough, but when child custody issues arise, the situation becomes much more stressful and complex. It is always best for parents to work together to find custody arrangements that suit both parties and the child’s best interests. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and conflicts over child custody can lead to a contentious court battle that is damaging to all parties, especially children who are caught in the middle.

If you are going through a divorce and your ex is wreaking havoc with custody arrangements, our Woodridge child custody lawyers can help. Illinois child custody laws are complicated, and the decisions you make now can affect your children’s lives forever. Skilled legal assistance can protect your rights and interests, as well as the future and well-being of your children.

The Woodridge child custody attorneys at Wolfe & Stec. have years of valuable experience helping families resolve custody issues and move on with their lives. Our skilled and compassionate attorneys know the courts and the system and will advocate for you and your children, creating a clear path to resolution. We know how to cut through arguments and confusion and petition the court for a reasonable custody agreement for all involved.

Your children are too important for you to go it alone. Call Wolfe & Stec at (630) 305-0222 to start working on a brighter future for your family today.

Why Choose Us as Your Child Custody Lawyers?

When choosing a child custody attorney, you need to find one you feel comfortable with and who also has the in-depth knowledge of Illinois laws and the court experience you need. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Wolfe & Stec:

  • Our attorneys have extensive backgrounds and proven track records in achieving results for our clients. You can read about them here.
  • Attorney Natalie M. Stec concentrates her practice on family law cases, including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She is a dedicated and passionate litigator who will help guide you through the complicated processes.
  • We provide personalized attention and are committed to open communication and developing a strong relationship with our clients.
  • We are available 24/7.
  • We are local and familiar with local issues and courts in Chicago, Woodridge, and throughout DuPage County, and we have experience in federal courts as well.
  • We provide free, confidential, and no-obligation consultations.
  • We have a long record of success, which you can read about in our client testimonials.

At Wolfe & Stec, we are ready to examine your situation to determine the best way to help.

How We Can Help With Your Child Custody Case

At Wolfe & Stec, we recognize that child custody issues are emotionally charged and require a compassionate yet strategic approach. When you entrust us with your case, our Woodridge child custody attorneys are dedicated to a comprehensive and client-centered strategy.

1. Compassionate Assessment

Understanding that each family situation is unique, we initiate the process by meeting with you to gain insights into your children’s personalities, family dynamics, and the specific challenges you face. This compassionate assessment allows us to build a tailored legal strategy that aligns with the unique aspects of your case.

2. Thorough Investigation

Our commitment to building a robust case is evident in our thorough investigation of your marital and financial circumstances. We delve into financial records, bills, tax forms, and statements to gather compelling evidence that supports your case. This meticulous approach ensures that we are well-prepared to present a compelling argument on your behalf.

3. Expert Involvement

Child custody cases often benefit from expert opinions. We leverage the expertise of professionals in child psychology and behavior to provide valuable insights into what arrangement would be in the best interests of your children. This may involve engaging qualified witnesses who can testify on your behalf, reinforcing the strength of your case.

4. Legal Compliance

Navigating the legal landscape can be complex, especially in child custody matters. Our attorneys ensure all necessary forms are filed correctly according to Illinois requirements. We make timely court appearances, ensuring that procedural aspects are handled precisely and professionally.

5. Negotiation Skills

Recognizing that not all cases need to go to court, we prioritize negotiation with opposing attorneys. Our goal is to achieve a fair and mutually agreeable custody arrangement that prioritizes the well-being of your children. Through skilled negotiation, we strive to reach resolutions that avoid unnecessary courtroom battles.

6. Legal Guidance

Understanding child custody laws is crucial for informed decision-making. We take the time to explain the relevant legal nuances, ensuring you clearly understand how the laws apply to your situation. This empowers you to make informed decisions throughout the legal process.

7. Court Advocacy

We are prepared to take your case to court if negotiations prove challenging. Our attorneys are adept at courtroom advocacy, passionately presenting your case and advocating for your rights as a parent. We remain steadfast in our commitment to securing a favorable outcome for you and your children.

Recognizing that the ideal child custody arrangement varies, our focus always remains on the child’s best interests. Whether through amicable agreements or court determinations, we consider factors such as parental wishes, child’s preferences, interactions, adjustments, mental and physical health, history of violence, and each parent’s willingness to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent.

An initial conversation with one of our Woodridge custody lawyers can help explain each of these issues in greater detail. Call us today at 630-305-0222.

Understanding Different Types of Child Custody

In Illinois, various types of child custody arrangements can be established based on each family’s unique circumstances. At Wolfe & Stec, our Woodridge child custody lawyers are well-versed in these arrangements and can guide you through the complexities of child custody law.

  • Legal Custody: Legal custody pertains to decision-making authority regarding the child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious matters. Like physical custody, legal custody can be awarded solely to one parent (sole legal custody) or shared by both parents (joint legal custody).
  • Sole Custody: Sole custody grants one parent exclusive rights and responsibilities over the child. This can be sole physical custody, sole legal custody, or a combination of both. Courts typically consider sole custody when one parent is deemed unfit or when cooperation between parents is highly strained.
  • Joint Custody: Joint custody involves both parents sharing responsibilities and rights. This can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or a combination of both. Courts encourage joint custody when it is in the child’s best interests and when both parents can effectively co-parent.
  • Split Custody: In cases with multiple children, split custody involves each parent being awarded primary physical custody of one or more children. This arrangement recognizes each child’s unique needs and relationships within the family.
  • Third-Party Custody: In certain situations, a non-parent (such as a grandparent or other relative) may seek custody if both parents cannot provide a suitable environment for the child. Courts consider the best interests of the child when determining third-party custody arrangements.

Child Custody Law Changes

On January 1, 2016, Illinois became a trendsetter by changing child custody laws and terminology for the first time in 37 years. The main purpose of the changes is to recognize and support the rights of children and parents to have a healthy and safe relationship with each other and to ensure predictable decision-making for the children’s care.

The words “custody” and “visitation” have fundamentally been banished. Instead, the law now speaks in terms of “parenting time” and “allocation of parental responsibilities” to consider the “best interests of the child.”

The compassionate and experienced Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec understand the stresses of divorce and recognize that children’s well-being is paramount. We will work with you to examine your situation and help produce the best solutions for you.

Given that the law is ever-evolving and changes over time, a child custody lawyer is an essential asset because he or she can explain these changes to you so that you are always up-to-date on the laws that will affect your child’s custody going forward. It is too much for a busy parent to stay abreast of changes to the law, especially given that some custody arrangements last for 10 to 15 years, depending on the age of the child when a marriage breaks down. Below is some vital information about changes in custody law:

Old Law: Previously, custody law in Illinois generally depended on whether parents were granted joint custody or sole custody. If parents had a joint custody agreement, both would typically share in making decisions about the major areas of the child’s life. With a sole custody arrangement, one parent would have the final decision-making authority over these matters.

Major areas of a child’s life are considered to be:

  • Education—choice of school, special programs, or tutors
  • Health care—choice of health providers and treatments
  • Religious upbringing
  • Choice of extracurricular activities.

New Child Custody Law: Instead of granting “custody,” the courts now refer to the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” As before, one parent may still have most of the decision-making responsibilities or these responsibilities may be split between the parents. The difference is that the court now will determine which parent should be responsible for each area of the child’s life. For example, a judge may decide that one parent will be responsible for decisions on education and extracurricular activities, and the other will be responsible for decisions on health care. Or, both parents may be responsible for the decisions in any or all areas.

Woodridge Child Custody Lawyers Answer FAQs

When dealing with sensitive child custody situations, you are bound to have questions and concerns. These are best addressed at your free consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our child custody lawyers are often asked:

Can children choose which parent to live with?

The children’s wishes may be considered, but children cannot choose which parent to live with. Instead, Illinois family courts determine the child’s “best interests” by considering relevant factors. Once a child turns 14, the court will take their opinion more seriously, but it is not the sole determination.

Who has the right to child custody in Illinois?

Illinois law considers two aspects of child custody: legal custody (for making major decisions) and residential custody (where the child lives or spends most of their time). Married parents have joint residential and legal custody of a child born of the marriage while they are married.

Who has custody when parents are not married?

With unmarried parents, the mother has sole legal and residential custody of the child until a finding of paternity is made and the father petitions the court for some form of custody.

What if the child’s safety is at stake?

In situations such as where one parent is abusive, has substance abuse problems, is mentally ill, or abandons or fails to take proper care of their kids, that parent may be deemed unfit, and their custody may be terminated involuntarily, or they may be given extremely limited parental rights, such as supervised visitation. If a parent continually puts their children in harm’s way, our child custody attorneys may be able to show grounds to alter their parental responsibilities.

When you have our Woodridge custody lawyers working for you, we will be there for you to answer questions all through the legal process.

Contact Our DuPage County Child Custody Attorney for Help

When it comes to the custody of a beloved child, there are so many factors involved and so many interested parties who have ideas about what is best for the child that emotions tend to run high. Hiring a skilled and experienced child custody lawyer can help you sort through the issues and ensure the best remedy for the child.

At Wolfe & Stec, our DuPage County custody lawyers are on your side. We will listen to your concerns and goals and address your child custody needs to develop the best solution possible. Contact us at 630-305-0222 for a free consultation.

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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