Katie (looking4shadows) wrote in little_details,
Katie
looking4shadows
little_details

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Illinois Custody Case, 1987


Setting is Chicago (specifically Cabrini-Green) in 1987.

I have two parents divorcing in my story. There are three children involved in the custody case - for practicality's sake, A (12 years old), B (10 years old), and C (7 years old). Both parents are substance abusers, although I know by Illinois law that this doesn't automatically disqualify a parent from custody. However, in this case, the father does not want custody. The mother is rather ambivalent on the subject, but as she is sent to jail during the middle of their divorce, this becomes irrelevent. Both parents have very little money, and only the mother has a steady job.

One grandparent is living but in a nursing home, and an aunt and uncle refuse to take custody unless there is no other option. A legal guardian isn't viable at this point. Therefore, the only person left is the mother's uncle, who is willing to take the children in. I have the children going to live with this uncle, who lives in rural Minnesota.

So what I'm wondering is: how plausible is this? How would the judge react? I'm assuming there would be a guardian ad litem for the kids, and what would his/her stance be? I'm looking for details here of how everything would work. My parents are divorced, so I know some of the other details, but it never quite ended up going to court.

Thank you!

Searched terms: all sorts of combination of 'parents', 'custody', 'Illinois', and all other terms that would indicate a parent doesn't want custody.

ETA: For clarification - I'm not wondering if this can be allowed so much as how it can be allowed as it is a pretty central plot point.

Tags: 1980-1989, usa: illinois, ~custody & social services, ~divorce
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