One Illinois county has started a new program that is intended to make the exchange of a child between parents less stressful for everyone involved. DeKalb County has joined two other counties with similar programs. The county will offer the Neutral Exchange Program on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
Starting a child custody case may be challenging for a parent if one does not know which state has jurisdiction. An Illinois resident would likely file in Illinois in many situations, but exceptions can occur. A state that a child has lived in for six consecutive months or more with a parent or guardian is considered the child's home state, and this is where custody requests must be filed. The state an infant has resided in from birth counts as the home state when a baby is younger than six months old, and temporary absences from a state do not change the status of one's home state.
There are various circumstances that can affect the need to determine custody issues for a child in Illinois. While divorce is the most common situation, there are other events that may prompt a need for someone other than a parent to file for custody. The courts in Illinois are concerned with the best interests of a child being represented, and in some cases, a representative may be appointed on behalf of a child to ensure that best interests are not ignored.
Illinois parents may know that child custody may be one of the most critical issues they face in divorce. For many, the way child custody is determined and how it is defined may be confusing.