Kendall County Custody Determination Lawyer

Representing Clients in Kendall, Kane, DeKalb, and DuPage Counties

The determination of a child's best interests in custody should reside with the parents. In almost every case, parents are able to understand how a living situation (residential custody) and decision-making authority (legal custody) will best fit the child.

In many cases, however, communications break down and collaboration and/or negotiation is not a viable option.

The Supreme Court of Illinois dictates that all child custody matters must be resolved within 18 months of the date of service.

If parents cannot come to an agreement on legal custody, visitation or parenting time, the court prescribes a defined procedure for determination with two parts:

  • Mediation
  • Evaluation or
  • Guardian ad litem

Mediation — Every county has its own procedure for custody determination of minors. Most start by referring parents to an independent mediator. The mediation process is typically three sessions and will often take approximately 45 days from the start of the process. If and when an agreement is reached, a parenting agreement is drafted, approved and entered with the court. If, however, mediation is not successful, there are two other avenues for resolution.

Evaluation — When parents enter into the evaluation process they select an evaluator, usually with the aid of their respective attorneys. The evaluator, typically a psychologist or psychiatrist, will meet with both parents and their child(ren) both individually and together. The evaluator will typically conduct psychological testing in an effort to best understand each parent's strengths and weaknesses.

This process typically lasts 90 days, after which the evaluator will make a recommendation to the court as to the type of each legal custody each parent should have, as well as the level each parent should have parenting time (custody/visitation). The recommendation is nonbinding and either party can request a second evaluation.

Guardian ad litem — Because the evaluation process can be expensive and time consuming, many courts will move toward the faster and more cost-effective appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the children and their interests. The GAL conducts his or her own investigation and recommendation. Unlike an evaluator, a GAL is an attorney, and his or her investigation is much more informal. In addition, he or she can:

  • File pleadings
  • Issues subpoenas
  • Examine witnesses
  • Testify in a trial

Bristol Child Custody Lawyer

Because I have dealt with these issues for nearly a decade I know how expensive, time consuming and emotional these processes are. They start at approximately $2500 and offer far less flexibility and control than alternative methods for resolution. I will strive to fuse legal skill, insight from my background in psychology and a sincere commitment to amicable, effective and affordable solutions, to help reach a truly ideal outcome.

To schedule a consultation with Naperville custody determination divorce attorney, Matthew M. Williams, call 630-409-8184 or e-mail the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

Logo Image 1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307
Aurora, IL 60505
Phone: 630-409-8184
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