While some family law guidelines vary from state to state, many policies have become streamlined. For instance, child custody rulings decided in court typically reflect standardized procedures established in Illinois and other states around the country. The broad-stroke approach to assigning custody and visitation rights to parents is raising controversy, however, since there is evidence that legislation regarding family law issues may be biased.
As the definition of marriage continues to evolve in areas of the country like Belleville, Illinois, families all around the country are expressing their commitment to each other in both conventional and nontraditional ways. Even though the law has yet to go into effect, same-sex marriage rights have been granted in Illinois and several other states around the country. However, many more still do not acknowledge same-sex unions as legally binding. In fact, shifting legal stances on the issue in one state have left more than one parent questioning where their paternity rights lie.
When one parent is awarded custody of their children during divorce proceedings, that ruling typically stands unless contested through the Illinois family court system. Both parents are expected to abide by the terms of the child custody agreement until or unless a legal change is made. One man recently regained custody of his two daughters after their mother allegedly attempted to conceal them on tribal lands.
While many Belleville, Illinois, couples choose to have children outside of wedlock, doing so can present some unique legal challenges in the event that a custody issue arises. In some instances, the paternity rights of the biological father can be challenged by the decisions and actions of the biological mother, leaving the man with few options to gain custody of his child. One recent case involving the adoption of a child allegedly against the will of the biological father illustrates how complex and difficult some cases it can be.
In Belleville or anywhere else in Illinois, when a former couple is dealing with a child support matter, they may expect that they will have to appear in front of a family law judge in order to resolve the issue. Sometimes a dispute can be settled without stepping foot in the courtroom through mediation and other negotiation techniques. Other times, going to court may not be avoided, though there may be alternatives available to the traditional approach of arguing a case before a judge. In one county in Minnesota, an alternate court system is drawing attention for its relatively new approach for handling child support and custody issues.