If you divorce while your children are still minors, you need to decide where the child will live. This is known as parenting time and is typically shared between the parents in a variety of ways.
Pursuant to Illinois law, one of the factors the court may consider when determining the allocation of parenting time is the wishes of the child, with weight given to the maturity of the child and whether the child provides independent reasoning as to his or her preference. Anyone who has children knows that some kids mature faster than others. While some are capable of stating these preferences, some are not. Fortunately, this is just one factor for the judge to consider in determining what is best for the child.
It can be heartbreaking if your child states a preference to live with the other parent instead of you. Yet, hard as it may be to deal with, try to remember that this does not mean that they love the other parent more than you or want you out of their lives. Regardless of whether your child prefers to live with you or the other parent, your job is to support your child and continue to love them. If you take it personally and try to manipulate the situation, you could damage your relationship with them and the other parent.
Remember that a judge will want to see both parents’ continuity in a child’s life, so as long as the child is safe, both parents will have parenting time with the child. Seek legal advice to understand more about child custody in Chicago.