In recent years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on fathers’ rights during and after a divorce. This is partly due to a trend in which many dads have taken more active roles in parenting compared to fathers in previous generations. In divorces that took place in the past, mothers were typically awarded what was called “sole custody” of the children, as well as alimony, child support, the marital home, and other assets. However, things often turn out differently in today’s divorces, since many mothers and fathers share in earning household income and raising children.
In modern divorce cases, mothers’ rights regarding child custody should not be automatically assumed like they often were in the past. During divorce, both parents should be sure to understand their rights and the ways they can reach a favorable outcome.
Protecting the Best Interests of the Child
In Illinois, the court is instructed to consider what is in the best interests of the child when it comes to the “allocation of parental responsibilities” (formerly known as child custody) and “parenting time” (formerly known as visitation). According to Illinois law, if married parents reside in the state, then a family court will decide on these matters as a part of their divorce proceedings. For an unmarried couple, paternity must be established before a court can address matters of parental responsibility and parenting time.
Many factors play a part in deciding parental rights. While the court will not necessarily address which parent is "better" or "worse," it will consider how the decisions made will affect the child’s well-being. Some of these factors a judge will consider when determining what is in a child’s best interests include:
The wishes of the child’s parents regarding who will have parental responsibilities
The wishes of the child
The child’s relationship with parents, siblings, and other relatives
The child's adjustment to their home, school, and community
The mental and physical health of all family members who are involved in the child’s life
The occurrence or threat of physical violence against the child by either parent
Any domestic abuse against the child or others in the household
The willingness of each parent to promote a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
Whether either parent is a sex offender
Mothers play pivotal roles in the nurturing and development of their children. Therefore, they should have equal rights and a say in the outcome of a divorce, especially when it comes to future parenting.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney
There are many aspects to consider during a divorce, and decisions about parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities are often some of the most important issues to resolve. If you are a mother who is concerned about your rights as a divorcee, the compassionate legal team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will explain your rights and work with you to reach a positive outcome to your case. Call a compassionate DuPage County divorce lawyer at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.