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Illinois Child Custody Factors

In Illinois, courts are to determine child custody questions “in accordance with the best interest of the child,” pursuant to Section 602 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/602). While the court may consider any factor relevant to the child’s best interest, the legislature has directed courts to specifically consider the following factors:

  1. the wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to custody;
  2. the wishes of the child as to his custodian;
  3. the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  4. the child’s adjustment to his home, school and community;
  5. the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
  6. the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
  7. the occurrence of ongoing or repeated abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
  8. the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
  9. whether one of the parents is a sex offender; and
  10. the terms of a parent’s military family-care plan that a parent must complete before deployment if a parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces who is being deployed.
In Illinois, judges have fairly wide discretion in making their child custody decisions, so it is not possible to fully predict the outcome of any particular child custody case in Illinois. However, if you would like to discuss how your specific situation stacks up with Illinois’ child custody factors, contact me – Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz. I may be able to help.

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).