The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

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Geneva parenting time attorney

When you have children, and you get a divorce, the state of Illinois requires you to decide on and make arrangements for your children’s affairs after the divorce is over. Not only do you have to determine how parenting time will be split between you and your spouse, but you also have to decide on other issues, such as how major life decisions will be made for the kids. The law states that every decision concerning the children in an Illinois divorce should be made in the children’s best interests, but parents may not always agree on these issues. In some cases, the court will intervene and often order an evaluation to be completed before any determinations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) are made.

What Happens During the Evaluation?

If divorcing parents tell the judge that they cannot come to an agreement on any of the child-related issues, the judge will typically order a trained professional to conduct an evaluation to help determine what would be in the children’s best interests. These often include mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors who have experience dealing with family disputes.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you are going through the divorce process, there are issues in which you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may not be able to come to an agreement. Child custody is often one of the most contentious and fought over issues in a divorce. Because of this, some couples are forced to appear before a judge so that he or she can make determinations about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. In some cases, a judge may need more information in order to make an informed decision in the best interest of the child. This is when the judge will request that a custody evaluation be conducted.

The Evaluation Process

Once the court has requested that an evaluation be completed, an evaluator is hired. The evaluator is often a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist. Depending on the circumstances, the evaluation can be focused on the parents, the child or both. The job of the evaluator is to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions between the parents, the child and any other family members in the household. To do this, the evaluator may:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,For some people, divorce may be a peaceful process. They may already know who will get the house, who will keep the dog and where their child will live. And if they do not already know, they may be able to quickly agree on those things. For the majority of divorcing couples, the decisions are not that easy and deciding parental responsibilities can become a long and combative process. When this happens, Illinois courts may decide to take things into their own hands and conduct interviews, evaluations, and investigations as to what the best parenting arrangement would be for the child. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows the court to require evaluations if the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own. Court Interviews Because the determination of parental responsibilities directly affects the child, it is important to understand his or her wishes in regard to the situation. Sometimes, the child does not have the chance to voice their wishes and in this case, the court will conduct an interview with the child to try to determine what they would prefer. According to the Act, counsel will be present during the interview and the interview will be recorded by a court reporter. Professional Evaluation

In addition to interviews, the court may either appoint a professional to conduct an evaluation or if a parent requests an evaluation, will allow either parent to choose a professional for the job. The professional’s job is to interview the parents and the child, observe the child with each parent, review court documents pertaining to the case, contact other professionals such as teachers, daycare workers, therapists and doctors and conduct psychological testing if needed. The professional’s report to the court must contain:

  • A description of what the professional did to evaluate the situation;
  • A report of his or her findings;
  • Any test results gathered;
  • The professional’s conclusions pertaining to parental responsibilities;
  • The professional’s recommendations concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities; and
  • An explanation of any limitations the evaluator may have come across.
Know When to Contact a DuPage County Parental Responsibility Lawyer

If you have gone to court to determine who gets certain parental responsibilities, you should seek the help of an Aurora parental responsibility attorney. If you get representation from the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., you can rest easy knowing you are being well represented. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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