The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C.
Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law 630-DIVORCE

Understanding how custody of children is shared in Illinois

Concerns about child custody, visitation and a parenting plan can be the most significant concerns couples face during a divorce. Child custody disputes are not a good thing for children or their parents, which is why the family law process can help parents resolve concerns over how they will co-parent and share custody.

It is important to keep in mind that whenever child custody is at issue, what is in the "best interests of the child" is the guiding factor courts will consider and that parents should consider as well. The family law court will seek to reach a child custody outcome that is in the best interests of the child. Factors the court may consider when making a child custody determination include: the wishes of the parents and the child; the relationship of the child and their parents and siblings; the child's adjustment to home, school and community; the mental and physical health of the parties; the ability of each of the parents to foster a close relationship with the child's other parent; and any evidence of abuse.

In Illinois, the family law court focuses more on visitation rather than custody to help ensure both parents are involved in the child's life whenever possible. Additional changes in terminology focus on parenting time to describe what used to be referred to as visitation and parental responsibility to refer to the role of the parents in making important decisions for the child related to the child's education, health care, religious upbringing and extracurricular activities.

The family law process provides ample resources to help parents allocate their parenting rights and responsibilities in a manner that is in the best interests of the child and works for the family. Divorcing couples should be familiar with how these family law resources can help them in Illinois.

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