Illinois courts recognize both physical and legal custody, and the parent who wants primary custody needs to understand their rights and related matters. If you have questions, contact our child custody attorneys in Chicago at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, for legal assistance with child custody issues.
The laws of this state distinguish between these types of custody. Legal custody means a parent has the right to make critical decisions about raising their child, including education, religious upbringing, and the ability to make significant medical decisions.
Physical custody means where the child primarily resides. The family court may decide on joint legal and physical custody for both parties. Or physical and legal custody can be given to one parent, giving that person primary custody. The family court judge makes these critical custody decisions based on the child’s best interests.
The state’s custody laws do not presume that joint custody is in the child’s best interests. Judges usually attempt to give each parent as much involvement in their child’s life as is practical. However, if you or your ex engaged in domestic violence, there is a good chance they will award primary custody to one party. The judge will also attempt to provide each parent with as much parenting time as possible.
The primary custodial parent refers to the parent with physical custody of the child most of the time. This parent’s rights as the primary provider to the child include giving the child their primary residence and making daily decisions about the child’s everyday life and upbringing.
The primary custodial parent also may have more rights regarding the authority to make significant decisions for the child. For example, the primary custodial parent could make most decisions about their child’s healthcare, general education, and religious education, and these matters will be detailed in any final Allocation Judgment for Parental Responsibilities.
Even if you and your ex agree on child custody, the family court judge must decide on the details of the custody arrangement that will be in the child’s best interests. Therefore, the focus on the child custody determination is not on which person is better. Instead, the custody decision is about what is in the child’s best interests, and these factors are considered, among others:
If you have children and are going through a divorce, child custody can be a significant issue between the parents. When this matter becomes contentious, you need an attorney fighting for you. Contact our child custody attorneys in Chicago at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, today at (312) 360-0250.