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How parent's home influences custody decisions

A parent's living situation plays a role in the decisions that courts make about child custody. For parents in Illinois, the concern might be about what aspects of home and living situation courts consider before making decisions.

While the court's considerations vary from state to state, most courts will look at the age and gender of the child, their ability to adapt to different circumstances, the size of a parent's family as well as the parent's particular situation when making judgments about child custody. A child's age and gender are important when thinking about where the child will stay and if the child will have enough privacy in the home of a parent of the opposite sex. The size of the parent's family and the number of other siblings are considered when looking at living situations, particularly because a parent with multiple children might not have a private space for the child to stay in. Courts will also look at how easily the child adapts to different situations and what the impact of a move will have on the child.

Courts might also look at each parent's particular situation, including their age and financial status. Finances can impact the size of the home a parent can keep, particularly when it comes to cities and expensive costs. For example, parents who pay child support might not be able to have a bigger place for their children. However, wherever the children stay, their safety is also a concern. If the parent lives in a neighborhood that the court does not consider safe, their visitations might also be somewhat limited.

The custody process can be complicated. Parents who are negotiating or fighting for custody might find it helpful to consult a family law attorney to provide explanations about the process and the steps involved as well as guidance through the experience.

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