Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Tips on Winning an Illinois Child Custody Case
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois attorneys, that helps people who need Illinois lawyer referrals or legal guidance for almost any Illinois legal matter including child custody. We are not a place to find a free lawyer, but we are a place to get questions answered and a referral to a lawyer that fits your needs. If you have questions about our service click on any of the links to the left or contact us. We can be reached at (312) 346-5320. Although we are based out of Chicago, we have an extensive network of lawyers that we recommend throughout Illinois. Our policy is that if we wouldn’t recommend an attorney to a family member or friend, we won’t recommend them to you. For general information on what to do if you have a contested case please read on.
A child custody fight can take a long time and be very expensive. That said, spending a ton of money on a lawyer or being committed to a long battle will not guarantee a win. This is especially true when the facts are against you (e.g. you are a convicted felon, left an infant home alone, etc.). While nothing can guarantee a win, we think the following are usually found in successful custody cases:
- Hire a lawyer that is focused on Illinois family law cases. In other words, don’t hire a lawyer that is more a jack of all trades attorney. This is harder to do in smaller counties, but if you have a Cook County custody case or one in a similar big area like Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, etc. it shouldn’t be a problem. No matter where you lawyer is located, decide within the first 60-90 days if they are paying attention to your case. An attentive lawyer will stay on top of things; he or she will make sure you are doing all the right things, and he or she will keep you from doing something that could hurt your case. If you hire a lawyer, make sure that the one you think you are hiring is actually the one that will be representing you and formulate a game plan with that lawyer. So many people are disappointed when they find out that their case was passed down to an associate attorney. If things aren’t going your way, don’t be afraid to switch attorneys before it’s too late.
- Unless your safety is in jeopardy, we suggest that you do not move out of the house. Doing so could undermine your case. Staying in the house ensures you have daily contact with your children, and does not allow your spouse to argue that you have no interest in them or have abandoned them.
- Document all the reasons why you should have custody. The courts are filled with parents that accuse the other of being unfit, but that alone does not get you custody. Custody is determined by the best interests of the child. Keep track of all of the good things that you are doing.
- Be a good parent. Attend every school function, teacher meeting, doctor’s visit, and any other scheduled event with your child. Get to know your child’s teachers and doctors, and or daycare workers. These people may end up testifying at your custody trial. If they know you and like you it can’t hurt your case.
- Be careful who you talk to. Anyone can be a witness against you and you should lead your life as if everyone you come in contact with could potentially testify against you. This includes your spouse’s relatives and friends, even if you are on good terms with them.
Again, following our advice guarantees nothing, but hopefully it is a step in the right direction for you. On tope of that no one ever finishes a contested custody case and talks about what a great experience it was. That said, if you win you will certainly feel better in the end. Remember, anything is negotiable and if and the other parent can work something out that is usually the best and cheapest route to take. If you have questions about child custody or would like a referral to an Illinois child custody lawyer, please contact us.
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