Jump to Navigation

Cook County Custody & Visitation Law Blog

Review finds custody bias

A recently published review by Drexel University showing that LGBT parents face bias in court over issues related to child custody may interest Illinois readers. The review found that a gay or lesbian person who is coming out of a heterosexual relationship could be denied custody or face visitation restrictions. For a same-sex couple, if the state does not recognize one of the parents as a legal parent, he or she may also face custody and visitation difficulties.

These difficulties occur despite research showing that lesbian and gay individuals are as skilled with parenting as heterosexuals; children of homosexual parents have been shown to be as well-adjusted as those raised by heterosexual parents. In many states, sexual orientation is a factor in custody issues and could override the best interest of the child.

Adoption law updates

Expectant fathers in Illinois may be interested in the recent changes to adoption laws in Utah. The new law gives more consideration to birth fathers when a woman wants to put her baby up for adoption. Utah is well-known for its adoption laws that favor birth mothers, and lawmakers hope the new restrictions will prevent women from abusing the system.

The bill, called Adoption Act Amendments, places some restrictions on individuals who want to place their child up for adoption in Utah. In order for a woman to give up her baby, she must live in the state for at least 90 days or give the court information about the birth father. The mother may be ordered by a court to notify the birth father of the pending adoption. The change aims to discourage women from coming to Utah for the sole purpose of giving up their children without notifying the child's father.

Chicago father taken into custody for late support

A Chicago man was taken into custody on allegations that he owes more than half a million dollars in child support. The 52-year-old man had a child support warrant issued for his arrest in 2008, but the father of three managed to avoid detection by law enforcement for more than five years. The Cook County Sheriff's Office says that the man's past-due support payments now total $555,876.

The sheriff's office recently got a tip that the father was residing in a home in the 4300 block of North Clarendon Avenue in Uptown. On March 21, police went to the house where the man was suspected to be and took him into custody. The man was due to appear back in court at the Daley Center on April 3 after having posted a cash bond in the amount of $23,462.24.

Mother and grandfather in child custody fight

The mother of a Florida girl is seeking custody of her daughter after the child's father confessed to murdering his mother in February. The father had sole custody of the girl at the time, and they were living with his mother. The child's paternal grandfather is also attempting to terminate the mother's parental rights.

According to police, the girl was in the house when her father killed his mother in the family's backyard. He then drove his daughter to a friend's house and dropped her off, and then turned himself in to police. The girl is now living with a family friend after briefly being in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Mathematics, science used in child custody arrangements

One of the hurdles divorced couples in Illinois may face is arranging visitation times when the former spouses have joint custody of their children. An even bigger obstacle is when one of the former spouses gets involved in a relationship with another divorced person with children. In that situation it may be difficult to arrange a period where all of the children visit at the same time. For some folks, physics may be able to solve their issues.

A Chilean physicist with two ex-wives and a girlfriend has come up with a potential solution that allows all of the children to visit one weekend while he gets alone time on the next weekend. The physicist gathered together members of the mathematics and complex systems fields to survey divorced parents who were dating other divorced parents. Their goal was to come up with an optimal solution agreeable to all parties.

Former OMB official in child support dispute 

Illinois residents that become involved in child support disputes may want to make note of the child support case involving a former director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget who is now a bank executive. One byproduct of contested child support cases is that personal finances may become public in some instances.

Court documents were filed in a District of Columbia court on March 9, in advance of a trial scheduled to begin on March 11. The father's ex-wife as well as various media organizations had sought to have his finances made public, and a judge agreed in late February. The mother has been involved in a child support dispute with the former public official since 2012.

Changing views on fathers' rights in child custody cases

Fathers in Chicago who are going through a divorce may be concerned about how often they will get to see their children after they separate from their spouses. Traditionally, family law courts have tended to favor mothers as the primary caretakers, giving fathers only weekend and holiday visitation. Lawmakers are beginning to consider whether it might be better for children to spend equal amounts of time with both parents.

The head of the National Parents Organization, a fathers' rights group, says that children are better adjusted and perform better in school when they see each parent frequently. He believes that legislation should favor joint custody, so long as both parents are capable of managing it.

More men becoming single fathers than ever before

Illinois fathers may be interested to learn that, in the last 50 years, the number of households with minor children that are headed by single fathers has risen to 2.6 million from just the fewer than 300,000 in 1960. In a study that was recently released, it was revealed that approximately eight percent of such households were run by single fathers in 2011, compared to one percent in 1960.

This trend has come about in part due to a shift in how the courts view fathers. Traditionally, it was thought that placing the child with their mother was in the best interest of that child. However, the courts are turning towards shared custody agreements, which allow fathers to have more of an impact in their child's life.

New app looks to make it easier to track child support

Illinois readers might be interested in a new iOS and Android app called SupportPay, that aims to make it easier for divorced couples to track child-related expenses. While a divorce agreement may spell out general child support arrangements, the day-to-day reality is that there are lots of little details that parents need to work out such as who will pay for karate class, or whose turn it is to buy school clothes this year.

SupportPay is intended to make it easy for parents to track expenses by allowing both to instantly scan and store receipts. This way parents can be assured that their money is going to the children. The app also offers a pre-approval system that will trigger a review from when expenses reach a certain amount. These measures can go a long way toward reassuring parents that the money is being spent fairly.

Move-away cases can be difficult decisions for judges

Parents in Illinois who share custody of their children may want to consider the impact a move could have on their well-being. Generally, if one of the parents needs to move to another geographic location for work or for family support, the court will take the best interests of the children into account when making a decision about which parent will have the largest amount of physical custody.

Often the burden of proof will be on the non-custodial parent to prove that the move will cause the children harm. In some cases, the custodial parent will be asked to show why the move is a beneficial. The court may look at the time share percentage that's currently in the custody order, the children's relationship with both parents as well as ties to the community. The distance of the move is often a factor as well. A move of just a couple of hours may not be seen as terribly disruptive but going across the country or overseas will bring about more scrutiny.

Tell us your story

let our experience guide you

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

FindLaw Network Subscribe to this blog's feed ►