Child Custody Guidelines in Illinois

As a parent, it is always important to put your children first.  That is also the mindset of the divorce court when it decides who will receive child custody.  Child custody is one of the most important matters of a divorce, and as such it is important to know what it is and how it is decided.

There are multiple forms of custody which can be awarded.  Physical custody means that the child lives with a parent.  This can be awarded as joint physical custody or just physical with visitation for the other parent.

Legal custody gives a parent the right to parent the child.  This can include decisions about medical care, religion, schooling and other parenting decisions.  This can also be awarded separately or  jointly, and is enforceable by the divorce court.  For example, if one parent makes a decision that should've involved the other, the parent who was left out can petition the court to change the agreement.

In Illinois there are certain guiding principles when divorce courts award physical and/or legal custody:

  • The preference of the child
  • The preference of the parents
  • The general well-being of the child
  • The child’s ability to adjust to home, school and community
  • The mental health of all parties
  • The chance of abuse of any kind with one of the parents or other family members

There are additional criteria that will be reviewed by the divorce court which will decide who will receive custody.  If you have any questions about this process, it is integral to have the guidance of a legal professional.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in DuPage County who will work on your custody case.

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