Custody is a legal term that refers to the rights and responsibilities of parents to care for children. This can include decisions about education, religious upbringing and health care. It can also cover where the child lives primarily and how much time each parent spends with their children.
Joint custody, also referred to as shared parenting, means that both parents are responsible for making important decisions about their children’s upbringing and care. In this type of arrangement, both parents must communicate effectively and agree on everything about their children. If a parent is not willing to share responsibility for the children’s care, they may seek sole decision-making authority.
Sole legal custody (also called sole parental responsibility) is the right to make major decisions about a child’s upbringing. It usually comes with visitation rights and financial responsibilities, such as paying child support or spousal support.
Generally, a court will award joint custody in most cases unless there is evidence that one parent’s behavior might put the child at risk. This might be because of domestic violence or substance abuse.
In many cases, parents will want to have joint legal custody so that they can both make important decisions for their children. This can help ensure that both parents remain involved in their children’s lives and develop strong relationships.
Shared physical custody is when the child primarily lives with one parent, but they frequently spend time with the other parent as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean a 50-50 split, and it can even be as little as overnights with the noncustodial parent on weekends or school vacations.
A court can also order supervised visitation for the noncustodial parent in situations where there are concerns about the safety of the child. This means that if the noncustodial parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, the judge can require supervised visits with them so that the children’s safety is protected.
The courts will also consider factors that will impact the children’s best interests, such as their wishes and the mental and physical health of the family members. They also take into account the distance between homes and transportation/scheduling issues, the ability of the parents to cooperate and how well the child is adjusting to his or her new home and community.
When it comes to decision-making authority, the court will consider all of the same factors as in determining physical custody and parenting time. They will also consider the parents’ past involvement in the children’s upbringing, and how well they communicate and cooperate with each other.
For some families, sole decision-making authority can be difficult to manage and may be an issue that both parents must work through with the help of a family law attorney. It can also be a source of conflict within the family because of resentment on the part of the parent who is excluded from the decisions that are being made about their children’s upbringing.
Despite the fact that this is what most people think of as “child custody” and “visitation,” the court in Illinois has changed its language to refer to these terms as “parenting responsibilities.” The court will still award one or both parents a “decision-making responsibility,” which grants them the authority to make decisions about their children’s education, religion, health care, and extracurricular activities.