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Child Custody

Child Custody: What You Need to Know

In Illinois, there are different types of child custody, each one having its own set of rules and addressing different issues within the child custody arrangement.

  • Physical custody: Commonly referred to as “residential custody,” this addresses with which parent the child will live.
  • Legal custody: This addresses each parent’s right to make significant decisions that will affect the child, such as schooling and medical care.
  • Joint custody: This is an arrangement that gives both parents equal rights to make decisions regarding major child-related issues.
  • Sole custody: This gives one parent the exclusive right to make decisions regarding the important aspects of the child’s life.
  • Shared custody: This is a variation of joint custody in which each parent gets equal “parenting time” with the child.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

In Illinois, the court determines custody with the child’s best interest in mind. Factors taken into consideration include the following:

  • The child’s parents’ wish concerning custody
  • The child’s wish regarding whom he or she would like to have as custodian
  • Interaction with the child and his or her parent(s), siblings and any other person that may significantly affect the child’s interests
  • The child’s ability to adjust to his or her home, community and school
  • The physical and mental health of any individuals involved
  • Actual physical violence or threat of physical violence against the child or any other person involved
  • Any occurrence of ongoing abuse against the child or any other person involved
  • Whether one parent is a sex offender

How Does Child Visitation Factor into the Custody Agreement?

Child visitation is part of the child parenting agreement. It lays out the guidelines regarding when the non-custodial parent has the right to visit with his or her child. Often, the custodial parent is subject to the non-custodial parent’s right to be with his or her child.

What many people do not understand about child visitation is that a non-custodial parent cannot be forced to be with his or her child at the designated time if he or she does not want to visit. However, the custodial parent can be forced to make the child available for visitation with the non-custodial parent if the non-custodial parent is adhering to the agreed upon schedule.

At Steckel Law, we understand the emotional and mental stress that comes with any family law issue. That is why we work directly with our clients and make every effort to recognize and address the unique needs of each person. We want you to be able to concentrate on what is most important to you: your family. Contact Steckel Law today at (563) 265-1714 for a free consultation.