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Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody in Illinois

Experienced Child Custody Lawyers in DuPage County

If there is any aspect of divorce proceedings that deserves the cooperation and collaboration of the parties involved, it is the matter of child custody. Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/601) sets the best interest of the child as the standard of review in child custody law. It calls for the cooperation of both parents in providing an environment that best fosters that interest, whether in a sole or joint custody arrangement. Mulyk Laho Law, LLC has years of experience representing clients in child custody cases throughout DuPage, Kane, Will and Cook Counties. Our lawyers can guide you through the legal and practical elements of both sole and joint custody and help you understand the rights and obligations in each scenario. 

Provision for Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody

If you are involved in a divorce or separation and have to make decisions about the custody of your child, or if you are seeking a change in custody, you need to understand the pros, cons, rights and obligations of sole custody versus joint custody. Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.1b) the State gives either or both parents the right to apply for joint custody in a divorce or separation, or the court can make the motion if the parents cannot agree on a custody plan. The law requires the submission and approval of a Joint Parenting Agreement that specifies:

  • Each parent's powers, and  the rights and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and for making major decisions such as education, healthcare, and religious training;
  • A procedure by which proposed changes, disputes and alleged breaches of the agreement may be mediated or otherwise resolved; and
  • A periodic review of the terms of the agreement by the parents.

Joint custody may or may not involve equal physical time with the child, but gives both parents equal say in the most important child-related decisions.

In sole custody orders, the custodial parent, with whom the child resides most of the time, has the right to make the major decisions about the child. The non-custodial parent may have visitation rights, unless the court sees some potential danger to the child. Both parents are entitled to medical, dental, childcare, and school records, unless there is some reason to keep such information from a parent.

When parents cannot agree on a joint custody plan, or when both are seeking sole custody, the court will make the final determination. The court may issue a Joint Parenting Order awarding joint custody, or if it feels the parents cannot cooperate, a sole custody order if it is deemed in the child’s best interest.

Experienced Child Custody Representation

The dedicated attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC are respected and effective child custody lawyers. We will help you reach the most appropriate child custody agreement, whether sole or joint. Our emphasis is on protecting your rights and ensuring the best solution for the daily life and total well being of your child. Contact our office to discuss your case. We represent custody clients in DuPage County and throughout Chicagoland.

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Family Law Alert

As of January 1, 2016, major changes to child custody and visitation laws went into effect. Read more.

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The law offices of Mulyk Laho Law, LLC
45 S. Park Blvd., Suite 230, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Phone: (630) 852-1100
Fax: (630) 852-1128