What Are the Rights of Divorcing Parents Regarding Child Custody?

Illinois couples going through a divorce may be interested in working together to draft a divorce agreement. This would typically allow the parents the option to determine the final arrangement of issues such as child custody, division of assets and spousal support. It may come as a surprise to learn that a family law judge could alter child custody agreements, even if both parents are in agreement.

How can parents protect their rights during the divorce process? In many cases, a judge may have the right to override a custody or parenting arrangement for what the court considers to be “the best interests of the child.” This may also happen if a judge finds that a parenting plan is too complicated. Parental agreement may not be considered and overriding factor in an Illinois family court.

Despite the potential obstacles, parents, when able, can work together to protect their rights and the optimal outcome for the children. The best way to protect parental rights is to obtain professional assistance. Couples may find it useful to seek experienced guidance to work on their behalf during a divorce, one of life’s most complicated situations.

Mediation is typically the optimal way for a couple to work together on a divorce or child custody agreement. This process may allow a couple who previously disagreed to come to a relatively peaceful and beneficial arrangement. By working with a family law legal team, divorce may be a smoother process and parents can have peace of mind knowing that their rights are defended during the process. Divorce differs on a case by case basis, making it important to begin with an individual case evaluation.

Source: The New York Times, “How Divorced Parents Lost Their Rights“, Robert E. Emery, Sept. 6, 2014