Child Custody

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Hoffman Estates Child Custody Lawyer

Comprehensive Child Custody Guidance in Cook County

Child custody is one of the most important issues in your divorce. Making a cooperative decision on where your child will live, or which parent will be responsible for making major decisions regarding health care and education, can have lasting effects on your immediate and extended family. This is why it is of utmost importance that you seek the experienced legal guidance of a skilled child custody attorney in Hoffman Estates.

 If you are in South Barrington, Barrington, Deer Park, Barrington Hills, or surrounding Cook County, the Law Firm of Caryl Jacobs Gabe, Ltd, offers local representation, flexible appointment availability, and a variety of payment methods to discuss your matter. We also have an office in Palatine (by appointment).

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Child Custody in Illinois 

In Illinois, family law courts favor the cooperation of both parents, but not necessarily joint custody in determining the legal and physical arrangements for your child or children. Foremost in any decision is the child’s well-being and best interests. Courts may also seek to maintain the status quo, or keep the way of life that your child is accustomed to.

Key Factors in Child Custody Decisions


  • The criminal history of both parents, including allegation of domestic violence
  • The parent’s cooperation or reluctance to foster a relationship with the non-custodial parent
  • A parent’s overall fitness and mental and physical health
  • The child’s wishes, if they are mature enough to have a say
  • The overall stability of the home
  • If a parent intends to remarry or live with a new partner

Identifying an Unfit Parent 

An Illinois judge does not have any interest in taking children away from their biological parents. However, there may be immediate and concerning reasons to do so. If a parents fitness is questioned, there will have to be certain processes to determine if there are unfit. Unfit parent basically means that they do not have the child's best interests at heart. According to the Illinois Adoption Act, there are certain criteria that will help a judge declare fitness. 

Criteria for Declaring Parental Unfitness in Illinois


  • Abandonment of the child
  • Neglect of the child
  • Evidence of cruelty
  • Substance abuse
  • A lack of responsibility

Joint Custody Options and Benefits in Illinois

When parents divorce or separate, one of the most important issues to decide is child custody. In Illinois, joint custody is one of the options available for parents. Joint custody means that both parents have equal decision-making authority and responsibility for the child's well-being, and the child spends time living with each parent.

Parents who opt for joint custody must be able to communicate effectively and cooperate with each other in making decisions about the child's education, healthcare, and other important matters. Joint custody can be beneficial for both parents and children, as it allows both parents to remain involved in the child's life and can minimize conflict.

If you are considering joint custody or have questions about your custody options, our Hoffman Estates child custody lawyers can provide guidance and support. We understand that every family is unique and will work with you to find the best solution for your situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Sole Custody and When It's Appropriate 

While joint custody is a common arrangement, sole custody may be appropriate in certain situations. Sole custody grants one parent full legal and physical custody of the child, while the other parent may have visitation rights.

In Illinois, a court may grant sole custody if:

  • The other parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse
  • The other parent is deemed unfit or unable to provide adequate care for the child
  • The child has a strong preference for living with one parent
  • The parents are unable to cooperate and communicate effectively regarding the child's well-being

If you are seeking sole custody or believe it may be in your child's best interests, our Hoffman Estates child custody attorneys can help. We will advocate for your rights and work to protect your child's well-being.

Mediation as an Alternative to Court Custody Battles

At Law Firm of Caryl Jacobs Gabe, Ltd., we understand that custody battles can be emotionally and financially draining for families. That's why we offer mediation services as an alternative to court proceedings. Mediation allows parents to work together to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their children without the need for a judge to make decisions for them.

Benefits of mediation include:

  • Reduced conflict and stress
  • Cost savings compared to a court battle
  • Greater control over the outcome
  • Preservation of the parent-child relationship

Our Hoffman Estates child custody lawyer can facilitate the mediation process and help parents reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Contact us today to learn more about our mediation services and how we can help you protect your family's best interests.

Contact Our Hoffman Estates Child Custody Attorney Today 

Whether you are going through a divorce, or if your situation has changed and you need to modify your custody agreement, the Hoffman Estates legal team at Law Firm of Caryl Jacobs Gabe, Ltd. may be able to help.

At our firm, we are dedicated to providing clients throughout the North and Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with skilled legal service tailored to their family's needs. Our Cook County child custody lawyers focus on practical solutions for complex and emotionally charged issues, allowing you to concentrate on what matters most.

To retain the legal service of our experienced child custody lawyer in Hoffman Estates, schedule your free case evaluation today.

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