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Child custody hearings

Illinois has specific child custody laws that apply to someone who is seeking enforcement of orders issued in other states or of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The courts have a duty to enforce the Hague Convention or out-of-state child custody orders.

If an Illinois court cannot enforce an order of a sister state, it might instead set up a temporary visitation schedule. The new visitation schedule will be effective until the receipt of updated information from the person's former state. Once the notice is filed, the court will serve notice to the person listed in the document. The person then has the opportunity to contest the allegations within 20 days related to the child custody case. They must show that the courts had the right to modify the case. However, if they do not comply with the specified time frames, the court will not address their request. Illinois courts will not change any child custody orders that are effective in another state.

In some cases, the courts might need to conduct expedited hearings in child custody cases. The court will also consider if other factors, such as termination of parental rights, domestic violence, adoption proceedings or restraining orders might affect the court proceedings. The hearing will be held the following day that court is open unless the petitioner requests an extension. The defendant bears the burden of proof to show that the petitioner does not have the right to maintain custody of the child.

Whether parents are unmarried or have gone through a divorce, child custody can be complicated, even when both parents reside in the same state. If they live in different states, custody battles can become even more involved. A family law attorney might work with a client who wants to obtain visitation rights with an out-of-state child.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "(750 ILCS 36/) Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.", October 07, 2014

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