In the State of Illinois, divorcing spouses are generally awarded joint custody of their children. While this does not usually mean that they split their time with the children equally, it does mean that they both have the right to participate in making important decisions on behalf of their children. The court’s presumption is that joint custody is in the children’s best interests, and this will require you to come up with an arrangement to split time and decision-making authority with the other parent. If you have child custody concerns, consult with an experienced Chicago family law attorney today.
Joint Custody Arrangements
Joint custody arrangements are the most common post-divorce custody arrangements in Illinois. This means that you and your ex-spouse will make important decisions related to your children’s upbringing together, including:
- Decisions related to their education
- Decisions related to their religious affiliation
- Decisions related to their medical care
- Decisions related to their extracurricular activities
Further, you and your children’s other parent will split parenting time, but you might not split it equally. There are different options for scheduling, and you should work to find the right schedule that works for your family.
Parenting Time Schedules
If you and your divorcing spouse can agree upon a parenting schedule that you can both live with, you can create nearly any schedule that you would like, as long as the court finds the schedule is in the best interests of the child. Some possible schedules include:
- One parent has the child for weekdays and the other for weekends
- The parents trade off every three days
- The parents trade off every week or every two weeks
There are many different ways you can divide shared parenting time, and there are many factors to consider when designing your schedule. Factors include how close the parents live to one another, whether they can communicate regularly, whether the child can adapt to regular switching, the schedules of the child and parents, and more.
Except in extreme situations, the court generally maintains that it is in the best interests of children to spend quality time with both of their parents. As such, sole custody is less common than joint custody. Even if you are granted sole custody of your children, however, their other parent will likely have the right to visitation. In an extreme situation in which your ex is considered a potential danger to your children, the court may require him or her to have supervised visits. Only in very dire cases are parents’ rights to see their children completely negated.
If You Have Questions about Child Custody Arrangements, an Experienced Chicago Family Lawyer Has Answers
Child custody arrangements are often your primary concern if you are going through a divorce. The dedicated family law attorneys at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders in Chicago are committed to advocating for child custody arrangements that protect your children’s best interests and that work for you. Our experienced legal team has the skill, knowledge, and commitment to help you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.