What You Need to Know About Child Custody Arrangements
During a divorce, Illinois parents may have their own ideas about child custody arrangements, but the court is concerned with protecting the best interests of any minor children. This is done by identifying or crafting a child custody arrangement that is suited to the needs of the child, ultimately giving children stability during a time of transition. Understanding the different categories of custody is a major step toward finding an arrangement that works for your family.
Sole custody is an arrangement in which one parent is granted a majority share of the parenting time and the authority to make major decisions on behalf of the child. This parent is known as the custodial parent, but the non-custodial parent almost always has the right to visitation with the child. Children are better off when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce.
With joint custody, both parents share parenting time and the authority to make decisions on major issues such as medical care, education and religious training. In these arrangements, parents may be required to consult a mediator when they cannot agree upon a certain issue that pertains to their child. With joint physical custody, children will split time living with both parents, but the details of that arrangement are based on an individual basis.
Choosing a child custody arrangement is one of most difficult aspects of a divorce. Parents have the right to come to an agreement independently, but a court will make decisions if they are unable to do so. An Illinois family law attorney can evaluate the individual situation and determine what options are available to a parent.
Source: americanbar.org, “Child Custody and Support“, Accessed on Jan. 5, 2016
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