When it comes to child custody, it is important for parents who are fighting for guardianship to understand which factors courts take into consideration when determining what is in a child's best interests. In Belleville, Illinois, and across the nation, these determinations can have a significant impact on a child's life and it is critical for parents who want a closer relationship with children to realize how a judge's decision on this matter can impact their case.
With regard to the best interests of the child, the laws in different states vary. On the Child Welfare Information Gateway's website, a useful overview of the laws in states throughout the country is provided. In Illinois, there are a number of factors that courts will consider when determining a child's best interests. For example, courts will consider a child's safety and welfare (health, shelter, clothing, food, etc.), identity development, religious and cultural background, personal goals and connection to the community. Other factors include whether or not a child feels loved, their need for stable relationships with relatives and the preferences of those who are able to help provide child care.
If you are a parent who is involved in a child custody dispute, you may be experiencing a variety of challenges at this point in time, such as stressful courtroom battles and strong emotions due to missing your child. However, it is helpful to remain positive and focused while doing everything you can to work towards a healthy outcome.
Please recognize that this material is not to be taken as a substitute for legal advice.