Raising a child is not easy; raising a child without or separately with another parent can only make it that much more difficult. Because of what a difficult job this is, parents need all the help they can get. This can be especially true when it comes to the legal issues of parenting.
If you are not married to the other parent of your child, you will need to take legal measures to protect your rights as a parent and the relationship with your child, especially when it comes to child custody and visitation. There are three situations in which legal guidance can be crucial for parents: establishing, protecting and changing custody agreements.
- Establishing custody: When you divorce the other parent or are no longer together, you need have a custody plan in place. This includes establishing which parent will have rights to legal and physical custody of the child. Parents can make these determinations through collaboration or the courts will assess the situation and make a ruling.
- Protecting custody: Once a custody plan is in place, parents must comply with the terms of that agreement. If a parent violates these terms, legal action can be necessary so that a court will enforce the original order and potentially issue penalties to the parent who broke the rules.
- Changing custody: Because parenting plans can last for several years, there are times when they may need to be modified. This may be due to substantial income changes for a parent, relocation, changing needs of the child or any other significant change that makes an existing order no longer fair or appropriate.
In any of these scenarios, parents will need to navigate the legal process. While it may seem intimidating at first, you can get through it and seek a resolution with the help of an attorney at our firm. We are experienced in Illinois child custody cases and we can discuss your legal options with you. For more information, please visit our website.