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Child custody determinations

Illinois parents may know that child custody may be one of the most critical issues they face in divorce. For many, the way child custody is determined and how it is defined may be confusing.

The types of child custody incorporate how the parents make major decisions concerning the child. In sole custody, one parent is given the right to make all major decisions including religion, education and health care. When parents display cooperation with one another concerning the child and agree freely on issues, then joint custody may be appropriate for them. In medical emergencies, one parent may make a decision alone. On all other issues, both parents must agree. Physical custody of the child is usually set up to maintain the child's sense of continuity while providing what is best for him or her. One parent usually has residential custody, which means the child spends the majority of time with them, while the other parent may have visitation rights. The non-residential parent pays child support to help cover child-rearing expenses.

Many factors are taken into consideration by the court when deciding custody. The way the child relates to both parents and the way the family interacts is considered. In cases where the child is older, usually at a specifically defined age, the wishes of the child are given credence. The child's potential adjustment to a new home and school is reviewed. The existence of abuse of any kind against the child or another individual is measured and weighed.

An attorney may help a parent who is in the process of child custody determination reach a settlement that is agreeable. An attorney may also offer suggestions to reach an accord on difficult custody issues.

Source: State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County , "Child Custody Information", October 06, 2014

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