Spouses who enter divorce proceedings often have to face issues that concern more than just themselves. Many times, there are children involved in situations where marriages end in divorce. Such circumstances naturally bring a number of important issues to the surface, among them, child custody and visitation agreements. In the state of Illinois and beyond, there are various types of child custody, as defined by law, and couples divorcing who have children will want to take note of the potential options.
Two types of custodial arrangements after divorce include legal custody and physical custody. A parent can have legal custody of his or her child without necessarily having physical custody. Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions regarding various aspects of a child’s life, including, but not limited to, education, religious upbringing, medical issues and general well-being. One parent might have sole legal custody or both parents might share joint legal custody of a child.
Physical custody, on the other hand, pertains directly to where the child will physically reside after a divorce. As with legal custody, physical custody can be given solely to one parent, with the other obtaining visitation rights. Sometimes, physical custody is shared between both parents, with their child living a certain amount of time per year with each parent.
Temporary custody arrangements are often agreed to by Illinois spouses at the time of separation. It is typically in the best interests of the whole family for spouses to cooperate with one another and ensure that each parent is receiving an appropriate amount of visitation time with his or her child. At times, when an allegation is made that a person has become unfit due to alcoholism, drug abuse, violent behavior, etc…an attorney acting on behalf of the parent making the claim can file a petition, requesting that the court intercede to deem the other parent unsuitable for child custody.
Source: divorcesupport.com, “The Different Types of Child Custody“, Accessed on July 14, 2015