4 Rules for Negotiating Child Custody

Divorce can be a trying time for both parent and child. It is even harder when the parents can’t reach a custody arrangement on their own. It is not uncommon for parents to slander one another while hiding their shortcomings. This behavior causes the child custody process to take longer and cost more. A reasonable attorney is a must in a child custody negotiation. Once you have a lawyer you trust, there are several rules you can follow to make the process run smoothly.

1 Discuss the Child’s Best Interest

Parents in custody cases often make emotional arguments as to why they are the best one to take care of a child. It is best to stick to quantifiable facts when building a child custody argument. Be sure to bring your tax returns and a list of personal assets. If child abuse or violent behavior has occurred, bring police reports and written statements from child psychologists. Do not badmouth the other parent without proof.

Which parent is the most financially stable?

Money is one of the first things any judge will take into consideration when determining custody. A steady income is more important than a substantial salary. A judge may ask about your employment history and your ability to improve your financial situation. A parent’s ability to provide health care and pay for extra-curricular activities may also influence a judge’s decision.

Document all expenses related to child care

It is essential to show a judge that you are prepared for all the costs associated with raising a child. It is also important to know how much money to ask for when determining the amount of child support. Be sure to bring original receipts from daycare and medical care. Remember to bring documentation of expenses related to day camp and extra-curricular activities, such as piano lessons.

 2 Write a Child Support Proposal

The state of Illinois uses the “Percentage of Obligor Net Income” model for child support. This model requires the non-residential parent to pay a percentage of their income to the parent that resides with the child. The amount generally starts at 20 percent of the non-residential parents’ income and goes up from there based on the number of children involved. You and your attorney will write a child support proposal with this model as a basis. You will also be expected to fill out paperwork required by the state of Illinois.

 3 Understand Illinois State Law

If two parents are married and reside together, the state of Illinois considers them to have joint custody. If a couple has a child out of wedlock, the mother retains all rights to child custody. She does not have to disclose the paternity of the child. A father may petition the court for a paternity test. The state of Illinois reviews child support guidelines every four years to reevaluate the cost of child-rearing. Hence, it is important to get an attorney who keeps up to date with any changes in the state’s law.

4 Choosing the Right Lawyer

When looking for a divorce lawyer in Schaumburg, Illinois, it is important to find someone with years of experience in family law and a keen understanding of the nuances of child custody guidelines. A good family lawyer will advocate for a child’s best interest and make sure each parent gets the time they deserve with their kids.

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