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Custody / Visitation Info

More than 1 million children experience divorce each year in the United States.

Divorces in the United States nearly tripled between years 1962 and 1982, when the number of divorces reached a record of 1,213,000.

Experts suggest that nearly 40 percent of the current generation of children will experience the divorce of their parents before they are 18 years of age.

More than 90% of parents who owe support pay it when there is joint custody.

Chicago, Illinois, Child Custody Lawyer

At the Chicago, Illinois-based Law Offices of Annette M. Fernholz, P.C., our child custody and visitation lawyer will be your personal and legal advocate in cases involving parental rights, including father's rights. We understand that your relationship with your children tops your list of concerns, post-divorce or otherwise. We will be your advocate in having parental input into key decisions about your kids, including education, values, and health care. Contact attorney Annette M. Fernholz for a free initial phone consultation to discuss your custody case.

Child Custody and Visitation - An Overview

Parents who are divorcing have much to consider. Uppermost in their minds is often child custody. Child custody and visitation/parenting time can come in many forms. Joint custody and sole custody; legal custody and physical custody; custody evaluations and modifications: all are terms with which a divorcing parent will become familiar. Knowledgeable advice and skilled representation from an experienced family law attorney can assist you in your pursuit of a fair custody arrangement.

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Creating Parenting Plans that Work

A parenting plan is an agreement between parents who are either divorced/divorcing or never married, and it outlines the custody of their children. It takes into account arrangements such as who has the children on which days; who makes major decisions about the children's education, health, etc.; and what to do if any party's situation significantly changes. Parents who agree on a parenting plan rather than let the court decide are more likely to comply with custody arrangements.

Sitting down with the spouse you are divorcing to work out a parenting plan may seem like the last thing you want to do, but this approach holds many advantages. You are the people who know your children best: their needs, their schedules and their preferences. By working together to create a parenting plan that satisfies the needs of your new family structure, you will avoid the possibility of a court's less nuanced solution. A court can only know what you tell it about your family's particularities, but you and your spouse are already exceptionally familiar with the territory. A family law attorney can help you create a plan that is right for you and your family.

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Divorce Education

Each year, about 1 million American children see their families changed through divorce. The ongoing health and mental well-being of these children often depends upon how their parents interact following the end of the marriage. An experienced family law attorney can inform, guide and support you throughout the divorce and custody process.

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Custody and Visitation Dos and Don'ts

One thing divorce does not change is your being a parent. Whether you develop a traditional visitation schedule or a flexible co-parenting plan, whether the arrangement is temporary or permanent, you can help make the time you spend with your children happy and productive. When questions regarding custody and visitation arise, an experienced family law attorney is the ideal source for competent counsel.

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Custody Evaluations: What You Should Know

If you and your former spouse have been unable to reach an agreement regarding child custody, the family court judge deciding your case may order a custody evaluation. A custody evaluation is a process in which a mental health professional, usually a psychologist, evaluates you, your children and your spouse in order to make a custody and visitation recommendation to the court. Courts tend to give considerable weight to the recommendations of the evaluator. A family law attorney can explain custody evaluations and answer your child custody questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody and Visitation

Q: What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

A: Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who has responsibilities associated with daily childcare. Legal custody is the decision-making responsibilities associated with the education, healthcare and religious upbringing of a child.

Q: When parents fight over custody, how does the court decide?

A: The typical standard is the best interests of the child. Each state has specific guidelines, but the court usually takes into consideration what each parent wants, what the child wants (if the child is old enough and/or mature enough), which parent has been the primary caretaker, the parenting abilities of each parent and whether there is a history of abuse.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2010 by Law Offices of Annette M. Fernholz, P.C. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.