What Should You Know About Child Custody in Illinois?

When going through a divorce, most Illinois parents desire a custody arrangement that protects the best interests of the children and their own parental rights. If both parties are able to work together to navigate the divorce process and avoid litigation, they will be faced with complicated decisions regarding child custody. There are a few different types of custody, each with implications that will affect both parent and child.

Sole custody is an arrangement that typically grants all decision-making power to one parent. This means that the parent with sole custody will make important decisions for the child, including those pertaining to education, medical treatment, religious training and more. It should be noted that one parent can have sole custody of the child and still share custody time with the other parent.

Joint custody is an arrangement that could be beneficial for certain families in which both parents are completely dedicated to working together for the benefit of the children. For joint custody to work, parents must be able to overlook personal disagreements, anger and other emotional issues in order to cooperate fully on decision-making for the children. Illinois parents who believe that joint custody may work for their family should note that this does not necessarily mean both parties will have equal parenting time.

Child custody is one of the more complex issues of any divorce, even with parents who wish to resolve disputes outside of court. A better understanding of custody terminology can allow parents to understand all options and pursue an arrangement that truly protects their children and their own rights as a parent. Developing a custody arrangement should always be done with the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Source: cookcountycourt.org, “Child Custody Information“, Accessed on April 22, 2015

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