The divorce process is very complicated, but one of the most complex parts of it is the issue of child custody. Child custody is the legal term referring to who takes care of your children during and after the divorce process. 

In Illinois, state law has provisions for child custody and visitation rights. It is important to remember that whatever result the proceedings give rise to has a lifetime 

 effect on both you and your children. Decisions around it should therefore be taken with consideration and expert legal support. 

Getting child custody allows you the legal right to make critical decisions about your child’s care, how they are raised, where they live, and how much time the child spends with the other parent. This blog post highlights the facts about child custody cases in Illinois. 

Who gets Custody? 

The court has the ultimate say on who gets custody. This decision is usually made in the interest of the child, but these factors are also sometimes considered 

  • The parent’s desires and willingness to have an active relationship with the child 
  • The desire of the child, given their maturity and education 
  • The child’s relationship with the slides 
  • The child’s ability to adjust 
  • The health of all parties involved, both physical and mental 
  • History or current reports of violence by one party on the child. 

In the case of abuse, especially when one spouse has been convicted of domestic abuse towards a partner or the child, you should be able to get their parental rights fully terminated 

Is it sole or joint custody?

If you and your spouse cooperate effectively, the court may grant joint custody. This means that both parents make all the significant decisions about the child’s care. Remember that sole custody does not prevent the other party from looking out for the child. Also, joint custody does not translate to equal parenting time. Time for physical parenting depends on a visiting schedule agreed upon by the spouses or the court. Whether custody is sole or joint, both parents can access the school or medical records of the child. Sole custody is granted when one parent is not suitable to be responsible for the child, or both parents cannot cooperate as to the child’s care. 

Who pays child support in joint custody?

Child support is determined by a different set of factors than custody. Irrespective of who holds custody, the choice of who pays child support is dependent on the finances of each parent, the needs of the children, and who assumes the most parental obligation. 

Can the parent with custody refuse visitation? 

The parent who has custody should not refuse visitation even if the other party has not paid child support. This also goes both ways; a refusal of visitation should not mean child support does not get paid. Either of these actions will result in contempt by the court. 

We understand that when it comes to your children, you want only the best for them. We know you want to be able to see them whenever and have them healthy and happy. This is why we advise care in making child custody decisions. Speak to an experienced family law attorney here about the validity of your child custody claim. We can help guarantee you have a fighting chance.