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Child Custody FAQs

Child Custody FAQs

If you are going through a divorce and have children, child custody can raise very difficult issues, and you may have many questions about what you should do. You are not alone, and other parents in your position often will have similar questions. Familiarizing yourself with the answers to some commonly asked questions can help make the divorce process less daunting. If you have child custody concerns, an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer can help.

What Is Meant by Child Custody?

In the State of Illinois, child custody is broken down into two primary components that include legal custody and physical custody (or residential custody). Legal custody refers to each parent’s rights and responsibilities related to making important decisions on behalf of the children, including decisions regarding:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Religious upbringing

The general preference held by most courts is for both parents to share legal custody. There are situations when a court will give one parent sole legal custody. For example, one parent may not have the ability to make sound decisions for a child, or the parents are unable to effectively communicate with each other. One parent’s having primary physical custody does not necessarily mean that the parent will also have sole legal custody. Physical custody – or residential custody – refers to where the children live. Parents in Illinois often share physical custody and decide on a schedule that works for their unique situation. In some cases, one parent has primary physical custody, and the other parent has a parenting schedule. Illinois recently updated its terminology and now refers to legal custody as the allocation of parental responsibilities and refers to physical custody as parenting time

How Does the Court Determine Custody?

 If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to a mutually acceptable child custody arrangement, the court will need to do so on your behalf. In the process, the court will take a variety of factors into consideration, including, but not limited to:

  • Your individual abilities to care for the children
  • Each of your wishes regarding child custody arrangements
  • You and your spouse’s mental and physical health
  • Any history of abuse
  • The needs of your child
  • Anything else relevant to the best interests of your child
Will I Be Awarded Primary Custody?

The court is required to do what is in the best interests of the children. In many cases, this will mean joint legal custody and equally shared residential custody. The goal is to maintain each parent’s relationship with the child or children. The ultimate parenting schedule will ultimately come down to a detailed evaluation of what is best for the children given the existing circumstances. If one parent is unfit or puts the child at risk, the court may award sole physical custody to the other parent and significantly limit the time the other parent can have with the child.

If You Have Questions about Child Custody, Consult with an Experienced Chicago Child Custody Lawyer Today

Every child custody case is unique to its own set of facts. If you are facing child custody issues, the dedicated legal team at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. in Chicago has the experience, compassion, and skill to help you obtain child custody arrangements that work for you and your children. Our knowledgeable child custody attorneys are here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.

Contact Our Illinois Divorce & Custody Law Firm Today

You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at 312-624-7645 to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.


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