How custody is awarded in Illinois

If you are getting a divorce in Illinois and you have children, you are going to spend time figuring out custody. While it is now referred to as parental responsibilities, custody is still determining who has what rights involving your children. At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, we are aware that this can be one of the most stressful parts of a divorce case. It can help if you become more familiar with how custody is handled in the state.

The state focuses on doing what is in the best interest of the children. You will be encouraged to work with your spouse to create a parenting plan that allocates responsibilities, assigns decision-making power and determines a schedule for parenting time. The law stresses assigning decision-making to four key areas, which are religion, medical, extra-curricular activities and education. However, when it comes to other areas, you have the freedom to create a plan that works for your family as long as you and your spouse can agree upon the details.

According to the Daily Journal, once a parenting plan is agreed upon by you and your spouse, the court has to approve it. If you cannot form a plan that you both agree to, then you will go through mediation to try to work out the details or head to court where the judge will create a plan for your family. Having to go to court is always the last effort because it will take everything out of your hands, and you will have to follow whatever the judge decides.

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