Although it may not seem obvious at first, there are both advantages and disadvantages to opening an Illinois custody case. As individual situations differ, there is no correct answer on how parents should proceed.
Some parents are capable of coming to a mutually satisfactory custody and visitation arrangement on an informal basis. In general, this may work for parents who are able to cooperate with one another for the benefit of their child. Still others may simply be afraid to initiate a child custody case for fear of angering the other parent. Some parents want the ability to make decisions on their own without the court’s input or intervention.
On the other hand, there are some obvious advantages for many parents to open a child custody case. By doing so, the parent petitioning the court may be able to assert his or her rights as a parent under the law. This can be especially beneficial if one parent withholds the child from the other. Some just need the court’s say in establishing a regular visitation schedule outside of the control of the custodial parent. Others may want to initiate a child custody case to gain the ability to have input on the important decisions that will affect the child’s life.
Whether or not to initiate a child custody action may be a highly personal decision on the parent’s part. In some cases, doing so may be in the best interests of the child. Unless there has been a history of family violence or addiction issues, it is generally in the child’s best interests to be able to have and develop loving relationships with both parents.
Source: Women’s Law, “What are some pros and cons of starting a custody case?“, January 02, 2015