When many people envision a custody battle, they likely picture two biological parents going through a divorce, arguing over who gets more time with the children. In Illinois and elsewhere throughout the country, that is not always the case. A child custody dispute can involve other relatives and interested parties. As one recent incident illustrates, it could even involve the government.
Readers in Lake County have likely either themselves been involved in a child custody dispute or know someone who has. As is the case with most things involving parents and their kids, emotions tend to run high in these types of disputes. In order to avoid losing their child custody case or to keep them from the other parent, some parents choose to take their children and run. In most cases, parents have legal recourse if the parent who took the child stays within the U.S., but when they leave the country parents often have no support or legal means for getting their child back.
Readers in Lake County may or may not be aware of the child custody dispute that has been ongoing between Olympic skier, Bode Miller, and the mother of his nine-month-old son. The cross-country conflict has once again heated up and could now have major implications on the parental rights of both the mother and the father prior to a child being born.
In states, such as Illinois, that do not recognize same-sex marriage, separating, particularly in cases where there are children involved, can be difficult for gay and lesbian couples. Even if the intent when a child was conceived or adopted was to raise him or her together, without legally binding agreements, one parent or the other may find themselves with no parental rights for a child who they love and helped to raise.
Unless the parents already agree, family law judges in Lake County, and elsewhere, help to sort out questions of child custody, visitation and support, among other family legal issues. The arrangements determined and signed off by judges are generally made with the best interest of the child in mind and are meant to ensure that the children are still cared and provided for, even though the parents no longer work as a couple.
When a Lake County couple with children divorce, it can lead to a series of legal battles where each parent feels he or she deserves to have custody of the children. Judges award custody to one parent over another based on what they feel is the right choice for the lives of the children involved in each situation. While the preferences of each parent may also be taken into account, one parent may be chosen and given primary custody of the children.