If you’re a father who is facing a divorce, you naturally have serious concerns regarding your ongoing relationship with your children. Many fathers are convinced that their children’s mother is likely to be granted the benefit of the doubt and to get the lion’s share of parenting time in divorce. While it’s easy to let your imagination run away with you when you’re facing an issue as important as child custody (which is now known in Illinois as Parental Responsibilities that allocate parenting time and decision-making authority to each parent), it’s important to remember that you have legal rights that a fathers’ rights divorce attorney in Chicago can help defend.
The most important thing for you to know about the court’s decisions regarding your children is that each and every one of them is predicated on what the court deems to be in their best interests. There is no legal presumption that the mother is a better option when it comes to child custody concerns. In fact, the presumption is that children fare better when they have an ongoing relationship with both parents (barring a compelling and credible reason to believe otherwise), and the court’s decisions in regards to parenting time (previously known as custody) tend to reflect this belief.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t vigorously defend your parental rights as a father – you should – but you shouldn’t feel dejected right out of the gate. An experienced fathers’ rights divorce attorney can help ensure that your parental rights are well protected and that your relationship with your children will continue to flourish.
The allocation of parental responsibility has two parts: parenting time and decision-making.
Decision-making refers to who will be making the important decisions on behalf of your children moving forward, including decisions about their:
Making these decisions is obviously a big part of being a parent, and aggressively advocating for the ability to continue participating in your children’s lives in this capacity is worth the effort. If your soon-to-be-ex refuses to budge on the matter, you can turn to the court to make its own determination. One factor that the court will likely consider is who made which decisions for your children prior to divorce, and it can divide the decision-making responsibilities accordingly.
You and your spouse are divorcing – not you and your children. You naturally want to continue fostering a strong bond with your children, and that is what parenting time is all about. If your divorcing spouse is not interested in negotiating in good faith for a parenting time schedule that supports your rights and allows you to spend a considerable amount of time with your children, you can look to the court to intervene. The court tends to base such decisions on factors such as how much time each parent has spent with the children in the previous two years. If you can demonstrate your constancy in their lives and your active participation in their care, you may well convince the court that it is in your children’s best interests to spend more time with you.
If you are facing a fathers’ rights concern, the formidable fathers’ rights divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW LLC in Chicago are well-positioned to help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
I'm so thankful that I found Jennifer and her awesome team to help me with my divorce! It was incredibly stressful and scary to go through this process, especially with two little ones, but she has given me the support and confidence that I need. She is extremely intelligent, level-headed, supportive, and reasonable! I was anxious in the beginning thinking that I would have to go to court, but she gave me the peace of mind that I needed to get thru it and not be anxious. I would highly recommend her to anyone going through this difficult process. I…
She is a nice lawyer. She helped me to fix my passport issue among other things, including family problems.
Initially, I'd thought to navigate through troubled waters on my own in the divorce process due to the cost. I hadn't before needed representation in any court case, and, not being familiar with the costs involved in having a lawyer, I was worried about moving forward with one. My fear was the expense. I felt comfortable with Jennifer Ward from the moment I first spoke with her - contacting her to set up a consultation costs you nothing. In the end, the retainer and fees spent to end my case on a high note were worth every penny. They sent…
If you would like an attorney to contact you for a free consultation, please complete this form.