Couples with children who separate need to be aware of custody issues that can arise during divorce proceedings. Divorce in Illinois is a straightforward process; however, custody disputes can make the process take longer. While parents may initially agree on custody arrangements, sometimes they may find that as the divorce proceeds, they change their minds.
There are different types of child custody that need to be considered during any divorce. One parent may have sole physical custody of a child; however, the parents may be ordered to share legal custody of the child. This means that even the non-custodial parent will have a say in how the child is raised, including where they go to school and what religion they are raised in.
Dealing with custody disputes can be stressful for anyone, which is why it's important that parents aim to put the child's needs and desires first. Typically, a judge will try to ensure that a child's lifestyle remains the same even after the divorce. Sometimes this means living with one parent. Other times, it means custody will be shared.
In addition to determining where the child will live, a judge may also rule that one parent pay child support to the other. Typically, child support payments are designed to make sure that the child's standard of living is consistent regardless of which parent they primarily live with.
Adults who are facing a divorce may feel overwhelmed at their choices and responsibilities, but a lawyer may be able to offer advice and guidance. An attorney may also be able to represent the parents in court should they need to appear before a judge. When a couple chooses to separate, they may wish to seek representation as soon as possible in order to have the most seamless divorce experience possible.