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What are the child custody options in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2022 | Child Custody |

Divorce does more than divide money and objects. The process forces parents to divvy up custody of their children.

Disputes in child custody can escalate the tension and hostility in a divorce proceeding. Some of these arguments may stem from not having a handle on custody options in the state. To try and get through an already complicated process, learn more about what the laws and courts have to say about splitting time with children.

Are legal custody and physical custody the same?

The court divides custody into two different categories. Legal custody pertains to who has the power to make decisions, such as where the children attend school, the type of religion practiced, and how medical treatment proceeds. Physical custody centers around where the children physically reside. Illinois courts prefer that parents share joint legal and physical custody unless a circumstance does not make that safe for the children.

What goes into a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a document that sets out parental agreements and the visitation schedule. The more detailed a parenting plan, the better it functions, especially in the immediate aftermath of a divorce. However, parents should agree that the parenting plan will evolve as the needs of the children change. Assuming the parents share joint legal custody, the plan should indicate that each makes decisions for the children during their respective parenting time. It should also include the process for resolving schedule deviations.

The welfare of children takes priority in divorce. If a couple cannot reach a reasonable custody agreement, a judge will decide for them.