What You Should Know about Joint Custody
Custody issues usually become relevant when a relationship is about to end. Depending on how it ends, parents may want to take care of their children together or by themselves. In a joint custody arrangement, the custody of a child is awarded to both parents. Either or both parents can apply for joint custody, or the court may decide to award joint custody if it is determined that it would be best for the child. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifies what rules there are to joint custody.
When applying for joint custody, a Joint Parenting Agreement must be prepared. Your Kane County family law attorney can help you with this. The agreement specifies which powers, rights and responsibilities the parents have concerning the child’s personal care, education, health care, and religious training. The agreement also details what to do if the parents change their minds about the conditions or have a problem with them. If the parents fail to produce a Joint Parenting Agreement, the court may grant sole custody or introduce a Joint Parenting Order, which contains the same specifications as a Joint Parenting Agreement. The court may also order that an investigation is conducted about the custodial arrangements, if a parent or the child’s custodian requests this.
Sometimes, the court may order joint custody, if it is in the best interests of the child. In this case, the parents must be able to obey the rules specified in a Joint Parenting Order, for instance, they must be able to cooperate together in matters that concern the parenting. Furthermore, their residential circumstances are taken into account.
Joint custody does not necessarily mean that both parents have equal parenting time. The parents may express how they wish to distribute parenting time, however, in the end the court decides where the child will live most of the time.
Child custody matters are complex and always involve legal proceedings. You will want an accomplished family law attorney at your side who makes sure that you and your child’s rights are defended in court. If you need assistance with a child custody case or any other family law matter, contact a highly qualified Geneva, Illinois family law attorney at your earliest convenience.