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child custody, sole custody, Illinois family law attorneyWhether in divorce or following a break-up between unmarried parents, determining arrangements for custody of your child can be a very difficult process. In fact, if you are like many parents, you may be struggling with even knowing where to start. You undoubtedly want is best for your child, and for some, the best option may be a sole custody situation.

What is Sole Custody?

Legal custody of a child in Illinois refers to the responsibility of the child’s parents in making the necessary decisions related to his or her upbringing. Sole custody may be granted to one parent who then assumes full accountability for decision-making regarding the child. Conferring with the other parent is not assumed, nor is it necessary under the law in sole custody situations. There may, of course, be sole custody arrangements in which the parents choose to cooperate in making decisions, but the ultimate responsibility for them falls upon the parent who has been awarded custody.

joint custody, joint parenting agreement, Illinois Child Custody AgreementUnmarried or divorced parents generally share at least one common interest: the well-being of their children. Following a break up or divorce, however, the law requires arrangements regarding the children to be established and custody may be granted to one parent solely or to both parents under a joint custody order.

When parents are granted joint custody of child, each parent retains equal decision-making power related to the child. This means that parents will be expected to work together to provide for their child and to make decisions related to health care, education, religion, rules and discipline, and other practical considerations. When petitioning for joint custody, parents must demonstrate their commitment to such an arrangement by developing and presenting to the court a Joint Parenting Agreement, or JPA.

Joint Parenting Agreement

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