When you separate from a previous partner, nothing is more important than establishing the wellbeing of your child. Sometimes individuals can work out child custody among themselves. However, in cases where the separation is not amicable, this may not be a simple task.
Either way, there are a few different situations that can apply. Before you embark upon a child custody case, it is important that you fully understand your options. Each type of custody has its own characteristics and can have different effects upon you, your child, and your relationship in general.
When a parent receives legal custody, they maintain the right to make decisions in regards to the needs of the child in every area, including:
The legal parent does not have to consult with the noncustodial parent on any of these matters. This may cause conflict between the two parties if their ideals do not align.
In the case of physical custody, the child resides with one parent and the other receives visiting rights. In some cases the parents may receive joint physical custody, in which case the child lives between the two households.
As the name indicates, if sole custody is granted, one parent receives full physical or legal custody, and in some instances they receive both. Most courts try to avoid such rulings. This option is usually saved for circumstances where a parent is seen as unfit or harmful to the child.
When both parents have a say in decisions regarding the child, they share joint custody. They may have joint physical custody, legal custody, or both. In this situation, the parents must learn to work together and may need to make adjustments to schedule and living arrangements.
As you prepare for your case, it is important that you understand the types of custody and the child custody laws for Illinois in general. Take your time, do your research and prepare so that you can put forth your best effort in this critical situation.