Under Illinois law, married parents have joint residential and legal custody of a child born of marriage while they are married. With single parents, the mother has sole legal and residential custody of the child until paternity is determined and the father asks the court for some form of custody. When married couples divorce, Illinois law helps parents divide legal custody and physical custody (parental responsibilities and parenting time) For unmarried parents, the mother has sole custody until the father establishes paternity. The purpose of Illinois child custody laws is to determine the best interests of the child.
Illinois custody laws distinguish between legal and physical custody. Legal custody gives parents the right to make important decisions about the child's upbringing, such as where the child will go to school, religious training, and the right to make important medical decisions on behalf of the child. Illinois law does not provide for allowing children to decide which parent they will live with. The court may consider the child's wishes, either through parental testimony or through an attorney or other professional on the child's behalf.
The judge can interview children, but generally the courts prefer to appoint a professional to speak on behalf of the children to avoid involving them in court proceedings. In determining whether to grant visitation, the court may consider a number of factors, including whether the child resided in the grandparent, great-grandfather, or sibling's home for at least 6 consecutive months, and whether the grandparent, great-grandfather, or sibling was the child's primary caregiver for at least 6 consecutive months. For example, if a child appears to be well-adjusted and the custody situation is working, the court will be more inclined to leave the current custody situation in place. When asserting your parental rights in an Illinois child custody case, it is essential that you are informed and well advised.
When parents agree, they create a joint parenting plan that outlines each parent's legal custody and physical custody of the child. When a parent is not fit to be responsible for decisions affecting the child or the parents cannot effectively cooperate to participate in joint custody, the court will grant sole custody to one of the parents. The parent who wants to move with the child out of state has the burden of proving that the move serves the child's best interests. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act are laws adopted by most states to also control tailor-made custody litigation Illinois has recently undergone a review of its child custody and divorce laws, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
Joint custody can be granted when parents can effectively cooperate in matters that directly affect the child. The purpose of the court is to decide who gets legal custody of the child based on what is best for the child. However, if the actions of a custodial parent seriously jeopardize the child's mental or emotional health, a change in custody may be necessary. When making a decision about custody and temporary visitation, the court should consider the same factors as it would when considering custody and permanent visitation, and make the award based on what is best for the child.
Co-parenting in Illinois is when a child's parents agree to communicate and work together while raising their child separately. Illinois Child Custody Lawyers Provide Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Illinois Child Custody Laws. The death of a custodial parent is a significant change in circumstances that requires a modification of custody. .