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Temporary Custody and Parental Responsibilities in Illinois

Under Illinois law, either parent can file for temporary custody in a child custody or divorce case. In a temporary order hearing, the judge determines who gets custody (also called parental responsibilities) based on the best interests of the child. Most often, the temporary order remains until the final custody order is put in place.

How will your child deal with the stress of your custody battle?

These cases are often hard on kids because their lives are being upended. They might be moving or their schedules are changing or they’re seeing their parents less. Kids need stability. That’s why there are temporary orders that outline who takes care of them and when.

Understanding Temporary Custody Orders

Temporary orders are necessary in child custody cases and divorce cases with children. These cases can take a while, and the courts understand that life doesn’t just stop in the meantime. The kids still need to go to school, have a home, and be cared for. Temporary orders determine who is responsible for maintaining the child's needs.

In legal terms, the temporary order determines parental responsibilities (major decision-making rights) and parenting time (who gets the child day-to-day). The orders last until the end of the case or until they need to be revised. Like everything regarding children in family court, the court decides based on what is in the child's best interest.[1] Temporary orders are one of the steps in the child custody process

What Is the Process for Seeking Temporary Custody in Illinois?

In Illinois, either party can begin the temporary custody process. The process happens in the following steps:

1. Motion for Temporary Custody

One party files a Motion for Temporary Custody with the court clerk. The clerk then assigns a hearing time and location. Temporary custody hearings usually occur quickly, depending on the court's availability.

2. Serving the Other Party

The filing party, or petitioner, needs to properly serve the other party. They must serve them notice of the motion and the hearing’s time and location.

3. Pre-hearing and Hearing

Before the hearing, parties must exchange all the exhibits, reports, and evidence that will be presented. At the hearing, each party will present their evidence, and the court makes its decision.

4. Temporary Custody Order

Each party is given the temporary custody order and the order of protection. These describe who has the child at what times and define any limits placed on a parent or third party’s visitation rights. The order of protection defines any limits on visitation.

For the best understanding of and outcome from a temporary order hearing, have a family law attorney represent you. The attorneys understand each of the steps and know how to argue in your favor. For your best chance of the outcome you want, call or contact Sterling Lawyers, LLC.

For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (312) 757-8082 now!


How Do Temporary Orders Affect Final Orders?

When deciding on final orders, courts evaluate the current situation. If the child is thriving with the current temporary orders, the court is more likely to decide on a final order that is similar. Beyond the current situation, the court looks at many factors when determining custody.

How Do You Modify a Temporary Custody Order in Illinois?

It’s not easy to modify temporary orders before the final judgment. There is a high burden of proof because the court already ruled based on the presented evidence. But they will modify them in necessary or extreme circumstances if it is in the child’s best interest. The burden of proof is similar to that of modifying child custody before the two-year wait period is up.

What Is the Difference Between Emergency Orders and Temporary Orders?

Emergency orders are a quick fix to unsafe child custody circumstances. They determine how to act in the short term to best protect the child from harm. At the end of an emergency order hearing, the judge schedules a temporary order hearing. At this next hearing, they decide whether to continue, replace, or end the emergency orders.

Emergency orders come in two types: orders of protection and custody orders. Emergency orders of protection are similar to restraining orders in that they stop the other parent from seeing the child. These orders last up to 21 days. Emergency custody orders temporarily give custody to a parent. In these cases, the judge only considers information directly related to the emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get temporary custody in Illinois?

A parent gets temporary custody of their child by filing a Motion for Temporary Custody. Then, at the hearing, they have to prove to the judge that it is in the child’s best interest for them to have custody.

What are the grounds for emergency custody in Illinois?

Grounds for emergency custody are when the child is in immediate danger. This includes abuse, neglect, and other extreme situations.

Who has custody of a child if there is no court order in Illinois?

If paternity has not been established, the mother has sole custody of the child. Once paternity is established, both parents have equal claim to the child.
If parents are married, then they have shared custody over the child. This means neither parent can take the child from the other. In these cases, it is important to take the case to court as soon as possible.

How long does temporary custody last in Illinois?

Temporary custody orders last until the judge makes a final ruling on the child's custody. However, temporary custody can be changed during the case if a party convinces the court that it's in the child's best interest.

Reference: 1. 750 ILCS § 5/603.5 (a-b). Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.

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