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How A Judge Makes Custody Decisions

Published on July 14th, 2015

The real focus in a child custody dispute is the child. A child custody case can be heartbreaking for all parties; however, it can be devastating for a child who is caught in the middle of warring parents. Obviously, it is in the best interest of everyone concerned if the parents can focus on the joys and rewards of parenting by putting the best interest of their child ahead of their own emotions and desires when making custody decisions. Unfortunately, some custody decisions must be made by the court.

The child custody attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols work diligently to ensure that child custody decisions focus on the best interest of the child. We understand the emotional and sensitive issues related to child custody and work closely with our client to protect his or her child while aggressively fighting for our client’s custody rights. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss in greater detail how custody decisions are made in Illinois.

Custody Decisions Must Focus on the Best Interest of the Child

If parents are unable to settle custody decisions between themselves or through mediation, a judge will make the decisions for them. When making custody decisions, Illinois custody laws state that the judge must determine custody “in accordance with the best interest of the child.” Because each custody case is different, judges use a variety of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Factors that Illinois judges use to make custody decisions include:

  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • The relationship between the child and his or her parents, siblings, and other important parties in the child’s life;
  • How the child is adjusting to his or her home, school, and community;
  • The physical and mental health of all parties;
  • Evidence of physical violence or the threat of physical violence by the potential custodial parent regardless of whether the violence is against the child or another person;
  • Ongoing or repeated abuse under Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Abuse Act of 1986 regardless of whether the abuse is against the child or another person;
  • The ability and willingness of the parents to encourage and facilitate a continuing and close relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child;
  • Allegations that one parent is a sex offender; and,
  • The terms of a parent’s military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if the parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces.

Improving Your Chances of Favorable Custody Decisions

There is nothing you can do to “guarantee” a judge will make custody decisions in your favor; however, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of a favorable custody decision.

  • Spend time with your child and be involved in his or her life including social, school, and sports activities.
  • Do not argue, criticize, or gossip about your child’s other parent.
  • Do not deny or interfere with contact between your child and his or her other parent.
  • Do not miss child support payments.
  • Do not engage in physical altercations.
  • Consult your attorney before making any major changes in your living arrangements.

Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Child Custody Attorney

The family law attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represent individuals throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office at 309-938-4838 to schedule your free consultation.

When you need the assistance of an experienced child custody lawyer in central Illinois, call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional service and support.


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