Custody & Child Visitation (Parental Rights and Responsibilities) (Parenting Time)*

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Children are the precious product of a marriage, so parenting issues are the most emotionally draining issues that arise when marriages fail. Spouses may divorce each other, but they do not divorce their children. The highs and lows of parenting will continue long after a divorce is concluded, and future parenting success will depend on how the parents’ attorneys handle a parenting dispute. Public policy has encouraged divorcing parents to raise their children by way of a Joint Parenting Agreement. Reasonable and caring parents who understand the importance of properly raising their children may reach agreements with the help of their attorneys and experts. If joint parenting is not possible because some parents do not have the ability to place their children’s best interest before their own, the courts are always available to litigate their differences. In matters concerning custody (parental rights and responsibilities) of minor children, litigation is always the last, and possibly necessary, resort. Schiller DuCanto & Fleck has trained Illinois child custody (parenting) lawyers and a collaborative process to fashion parenting agreements between parents that spare their children the destructive experience of litigation, but the SDF lawyers are available to represent their clients’ interest in court if a trial is necessary.

With the ever-increasing mobility of American society, frequently parents wish to move to another state for employment, health, or remarriage. Either the parent wishing to move obtains the express consent of the other parent, or the moving parent must obtain permission from the court to move the minor children out of state. A removal case is commonly more contentious than a parenting dispute since there is more at risk. Schiller DuCanto & Fleck’s lawyers are skilled at achieving the best possible resolution for its Illinois clients through negotiations, by working with experts, or through hearings.

Along with the mobility factor, there is an emerging increase of Hague Convention cases that deal with children being taken from or to the United States. These cases involve parents who have taken their children to reside in a different country either secretly or over the other parent’s objections. Any country that has signed the international Hague Convention treaty submits itself to the rules of procedure and evidence established by the Convention, so international custody litigation is then conducted in accordance with the Hague Convention. Schiller DuCanto & Fleck has handled a significant number of Hague Convention cases and is very experienced with litigation under the treaty in both state and federal courts.

Schiller DuCanto & Fleck’s Illinois custody (parenting rights) lawyers have been involved in every aspect of litigation, including former judges who presided over custody (parenting) proceedings and counsel experienced in all phases of parenting litigation. This well-rounded legal group is available on a number of levels to ensure that the firm’s clients obtain the best representation in this very sensitive area of the law.

*Effective 1/1/16 a new law became affective that eliminated the use of the word “custody” from the statute. Instead the revised statute uses terms like “parental responsibilities,” “parenting time” and “parenting plan.”

Contact us for more information about this practice area.