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Chicago, IL Child custody lawyers (359 attorneys, 3280 reviews)

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  • Fred Joshua
    Fred A. Joshua, PC
    200 West Madison, Suite 2100, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 84 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Nothing comes even close in value to children in any marriage. We live by that first & foremost !
  • Luke Kazmar
    Kazmar Feely LLC
    200 S. Wacker, Suite 3100, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 35 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    2021 Client Choice Award ® / 10 Best in Client Satisfaction ®
  • Bradley Kaye
    The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.
    180 N. Stetson Ave., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 31 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    An aggressive family law attorney who can help you take control of the situation. Call today.
  • Michael Craven
    Harrison & Held, LLP
    333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 45 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Call Experienced, Strong and Highly Acclaimed Divorce Lawyer Michael Craven to Get Started Today!

    Practice area
    30% Child custody, 35% Divorce and separation, 35% Family

    Cost
    Hourly Rates, $200-$500/hour

    License
    IL, Active since 1984

  • Erin Masters
    Masters Law Group LLC
    30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2340, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 28 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Quality & Cost-Effective Legal Representation For All Types Of Family Matters.
  • Kathryn Mickelson
    Open for business

    Open for business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    161 N. Clark Street, Suite 3000, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 37 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Strategic, Assertive and Personal Family Law Guidance

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 40% Divorce and separation, 20% Marriage and prenuptials, and more.

    Cost
    Hourly Rates, $525-$525/hour

    License
    IL, Active since 2005

  • Maxine Weiss Kunz
    Weiss Kunz & Oliver, LLC
    180 N. LaSalle St., Suite 3700, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 22 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Experienced & Compassionate Family Law Attorney. 312-646-4397
  • Burton Hochberg
    Schiller Ducanto & Fleck LLP, 200 N La Salle St Fl 30, Chicago, IL
    4.5 stars 12 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Compassion and experience in the most challenging family law cases.
  • Michael Lodermeier
    Michael L. Lodermeier, P.C.
    22 West Washington, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 21 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Honest. Aggressive. Intelligent. Call For A Free Consultation.
  • Joseph Napoli
    Joseph R. Napoli of Beermann LLP
    161 N Clark Street, Ste 3000, (or [email protected]), Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 49 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.7  
    Licensed
    Concerned about family matters, divorce, or child custody issues? Attorney Joseph Napoli can help.
  • Nanette McCarthy
    Griffin Mccarthy & Rice LLP
    55 W Monroe St Ste 990, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 3 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.3  
    Licensed
    Even at the start of her family law career in 1995 as a fierce litigator at a well-known matrimonial firm in Chicago, deep down Nanette knew she would be most effective at helping families if she led her own firm. Realizing that goal eight years l...
  • Morgan Given
    180 North LaSalle St., Ste. 3700, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 51 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 9.7  
    Licensed
    Fierce, compassionate, and experienced family lawyer. Call for a free consultation
  • Agnes Zielinski Olechno
    Open for business

    Open for business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Williams & Farmer - A Family Law Firm
    211 W Wacker, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 55 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Helping couples and children save time, money, and emotional trauma. Call for a free consultation

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 20% Family, 20% Divorce and separation, and more.

    Cost
    Free Consultation
    Some lawyers offer a free consultation to help determine whether their services are right for your legal needs
    60 minutes

    License
    IL, Active since 2013

  • John Conniff
    Open for business

    Open for business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Law Offices of John A. Conniff
    321 N. Clark Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 75 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Extensive Experience, Coupled With A Passion! Handling All Family Matters. Call For A Free Consultation

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 65% Divorce and separation, 10% Child support, and more.

    Cost
    Free Consultation
    Some lawyers offer a free consultation to help determine whether their services are right for your legal needs
    30 minutes

    License
    IL, Active since 2011

  • Lucas Figiel
    Figiel Law Offices, Ltd
    7111 West Higgins Avenue, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 15 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Experienced and results-oriented family law attorney who fulfills client’s goals and expectations. Call today for consultation!
  • Robert Buchanan
    Open for business

    Open for business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    The Law Office of Robert B. Buchanan
    180 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 3700, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 42 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    We take a team approach to protecting your child and enforcing your rights. Our office offers representation by attorneys, paralegals, and staff who all have 10-plus years in the practice of family law. Request a consult to experience our superior...

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 50% Divorce and separation, 20% Family, and more.

    Cost
    Hourly Rates, $175-$450/hour

    License
    IL, Active since 2012

  • Jason Hurst
    Beermann LLP
    161 N. Clark, Suite 3000, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 25 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    The Family Law Firm That Cares
  • Anthony D'Agostino
    Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd.
    19 S Lasalle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 16 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 8.6  
    Licensed
    Review: “Mr. D'Agostino really impresses me because he is able to analyze legal situations and come up with great strategies and solutions that really work, unlike so many other lawyers who just are not creative and resource...
  • Arthur Kallow
    Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd. A Professional Corporation
    19 South La Salle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL
    5.0 stars 7 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    Arthur S. Kallow is a native Chicagoan and graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law cum laude in 1973. He also received his B.A. in political science from Northwestern. Mr. Kallow was awarded a certificate from Notre Dame Law Schoo...
  • Marilyn Longwell
    Open for business

    Open for business

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are open during this time are marked "Open for business" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Virtual Consultation

    Virtual Consultation

    Attorneys that have confirmed to Avvo that they are available for a phone or video consultation have "Virtual Consultation" on their profile. We recommend that you contact the attorney directly to determine hours and availability.
    Marilyn Longwell & Assoc., P.C.
    111 West Washington Street Suite 1625, Chicago, IL
    4.5 stars 26 reviews
    Avvo Rating: 10  
    Licensed
    We partner with our family law clients for results which benefit the client and the family.

    Practice area
    20% Child custody, 40% Divorce and separation, 20% Child support, and more.

    Cost
    Hourly Rates, $250-$400/hour

    License
    IL, Active since 1973

CHILD CUSTODY IN CHICAGO

If you’re going through a divorce with children, you’ll need to determine where and with whom your children will live. A child custody lawyer can help you negotiate custody, either by agreement or in court. If you as parents can’t agree on child custody, a judge will decide for you. Continue reading to learn more about the process and costs of child custody cases in Chicago and Illinois.

Types of Child Custody

Legal Custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make major decisions about a child's welfare, health, and education, including:

-where a child will go to school

-whether a child will engage in religious activities, and

-whether a child should receive medical care (except in emergency situations).

Joint vs. Sole Legal Custody. Legal custody can be shared (joint) or sole. In Illinois, joint legal custody means that both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. The fact that parents share joint legal custody, however, doesn’t mean they will share joint physical custody.

Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right to make all major decisions relating to the child and can do so without the other parent's input. The fact that a parent has sole legal custody doesn’t mean that parent will also have sole physical custody.

Physical Custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. The parent with physical custody has the right to have the child physically present in the home. If a child lives exclusively or primarily with one parent, that parent is usually referred to as the custodial parent, while the other is the noncustodial parent and typically has visitation rights.

Joint vs. Sole Physical Custody. Joint physical custody means that both parents have significant periods of physical custody. If a child's time is divided equally—or close to equally—between the parents, they are sharing joint physical custody. Sole physical custody means a child resides with one parent, subject to the court's authority to order visitation time with the other.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

In Illinois, judges decide custody according to what is in the best interest of the child. To decide a child’s best interests, the court will consider many factors, including:

-each parent’s wishes regarding child custody

-the child’s wishes about which parent will have custody (if the child is over 14)

-the child’s relationship with the parent(s), sibling(s), and anyone else who may affect the child's best interest

-the child's adjustment to home, school, and community

-the mental and physical health of everyone involved

-whether there’s been physical violence or a threat of physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed against the child or another person

-whether there has been ongoing or repeated domestic violence, whether directed against the child or another person

-the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, and

-whether either parent is a sex offender.

Legal Custody. Parents usually share joint legal custody, unless one of the following is true:

-the parents are completely unable to make decisions together

-one parent is deemed unfit

-one parent is incapable of making decisions regarding the welfare of the child, or

-it would be in the child’s best interests for only one parent to have sole legal custody.

Physical Custody. Unlike some states, Illinois doesn't presume that joint custody is in the child's best interests. Judges will consider all relevant factors in deciding what physical custody schedule best serves the child.

What Goes Into a Custody Agreement?

In Illinois, a custody agreement is referred to as a parenting plan. Generally, a parenting plan should cover physical custody and include a detailed schedule for when the child will be with each parent, including:

-where the child will be for holidays, summer vacations, and special days like birthdays

-how the child will get from one parent to the other (transitions), and

-who will pay the costs of transportation.

Your agreement should also cover legal custody and how you will make decisions about your child’s health, education, and welfare including:

-daycare and/or which school(s) the child will attend

-whether the child will practice a certain religion, and

-how decisions about medical and dental care will be made.

If you have questions, speak to a local child custody attorney for advice.

The Average Cost of Child Custody Case in Illinois

Each family is unique, and each custody case presents its own specific circumstances which will play a major role in how long a custody case will take and how much it might cost. When parents agree on all of their custody issues, the total cost will be on the lower end. If parents can’t agree or have a prolonged custody dispute in court, the total cost will be significantly higher.

While we don’t have specific data on the cost of a custody case in Chicago or Illinois, we do know that in one survey, readers who had disagreements over child support and/or custody paid an average of $15,500 in total costs—including $13,500 in attorney’s fees and $2,000 in other costs.

Attorney’s fees represent the largest chunk of divorce costs. Because attorneys in the Chicago area charge higher hourly rates than other areas of Illinois, custody cases in Chicago will likely cost more than in other parts of the state.

For more on child custody in Illinois, and questions asked in Chicago, see our free legal advice page.

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