Pursuant to Section § 602(a), the court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(1) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his custody;
(2) the wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(3) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
(4) the child’s adjustment to his home, school and community;
(5) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(6) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child’s potential custodian, whether directed against the child or directed against another person;
(7) the occurrence of ongoing abuse as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, whether directed against the child or directed against another person; and
(8) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. 750 ILCS 5/602.
This statutory list, however, is not exhaustive, and the courts have to consider other relevant factors, including:
- Relative economic positions of the parties;
- Non-custodian parent’s child support obligation arrearage;
- Parent’s church attendance with children;
- Frequent changes in residence;
- Instability of second marriage.