When it comes to handling a child custody case, there is no time like the present. There are several reasons this is true, in both Illinois and Iowa custody cases.
First and foremost, a delay in handing a custody case can make it more difficult to do so later on. That is especially true in cases where one parent is not being allowed to see the child. A parent who has been denied access to their child and promptly seeks an attorney to proceed with their custody case is in a much better position to obtain the custody outcome that they want than a parent who waits months or years. That is because the courts in Illinois and Iowa will take into consideration how the child has become accustomed to living with one parent for so long, as the court is reluctant to move a child out of their school, daycare, etc., without good cause. The court would also consider how interested the parent is in the child, if the parent is apparently willing to go a long while without seeing their child.
Delaying when it comes to handling custody cases is also problematic when it comes to which jurisdiction and venue are the proper place to handle the custody case. For example, the parents and child live in Davenport, IA but then one of the parents moves to Texas with the child, after a long enough time (often around 6 months) then Texas generally becomes the only place where the custody case can be handled. The parent who is still is in Davenport, Iowa is then faced with the prospect of having to retain an attorney in a distant state, and travel hundreds of miles for each court appearance.
Finally, delaying action on a custody case can mean missed time with the child. That time is precious and cannot be recovered once lost, as children grow up so quickly. The memories and bonds that children form with their parents earlier in life are vital to determining the child’s character and personality later in life, and parents who miss that time are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to having a meaningful relationship with their child later in life.