Child Custody: Legal vs. Physical

children of divorce, Illinois child custody lawyer, Illinois family law attorney,Child custody cases can be notoriously complicated. Parental tension, visitation schedules, and a complex legal process are common in Illinois custody matters. Because of these complexities, child custody cases can be confusing for everyone involved. You are sure to have questions about what will happen next, and your legal options. Even the basic questions can quickly become complicated, so it is important to call an experienced DuPage child custody lawyer.

What Is Legal Custody?

Legal custody is essentially a parent’s authority to make important decisions for his or her child. These decisions do not involve daily choices, such as dinner options, but rather major choices regarding the child’s well being. Often, such decisions include education, healthcare, and religion.

 What Is Physical Custody?

When a parent has physical custody, he or she is the parent who primarily resides with the child. Unlike legal custody, physical custody entails the daily care of the child. This parent is generally referred to as the “custodial parent.” Usually, the other parent is allowed visitation with the child. Parents can agree to a visitation schedule. If they cannot agree, a judge will order a specified schedule based on the child’s best interests according to Illinois law.

How Can Custody Be Shared?

Parents sharing custody is the most common outcome of a child custody dispute. In most cases, a shared custody arrangement is best for the child involved. Though the term “shared custody” may indicate otherwise, such a parenting arrangement does not necessarily mean that parents equally share time with their child. In some cases, both parents may equally split both physical and legal custody. In other situations, one parent may have primary physical custody while the other parent enjoys visitation. Legal custody may also be split between the parents in a variety of ways.

 The exact custody situation in your case will depend on your specific circumstances. It may also depend on whether your case is settled through an out-of-court settlement, which allows both parties more creativity, or by a judge. Under certain circumstances, one parent will be awarded sole custody. Sole custody may be appropriate if one parent is incarcerated, absent, incapacitated or abusive.

Consult with Experienced DuPage County Custody Lawyers

At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients through tough custody disputes. No matter how complex your case is, we can help you sort through your legal options and decide what is best for you and your child. We give each client practical advice tailored to their unique situation, and we can help ensure that you achieve a custody agreement that is in line with your best interests. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced DuPage County custody lawyers.

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