Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Sole legal child custody with joint physical custody is possible

When a couple goes through a divorce, they become ex-spouses, but they will never be ex-parents. Child-related issues will always remain some of the most challenging aspects of ending a marriage. Although Illinois courts give preference to joint child custody, certain circumstances make it possible for one of the parents to obtain sole custody. Also, parents can share joint physical custody while one of them can petition the court for sole legal custody, or they can share legal custody but seek sole physical custody.

In situations in which one parent is typically unavailable for consultation when decisions must be made about the education, health and religion-related matters of the child, the court might agree to award the other parent sole legal custody. However, if the court sees such a petition as an attempt of one parent to avoid contact with his or her ex, it will likely not consider it to be in the best interest of the child. An example of a justification for such a claim is when one parent relocates into a different time zone, making joint urgent or emergency decisions challenging.

When only one parent is legally responsible, it might be easier to make critical decisions instead of waiting for the other parent to be available. Such an arrangement might also bring about more consistency in the child's life. If sole legal custody does not interfere with the parenting time and relationship between the child and the other parent, the judge might agree to such a petition.

When both parents are equally fit and available to make legal decisions about their child, an Illinois court will likely reject sole legal child custody. Instead, a judge might order the parents to mediate and learn how to communicate and compromise over matters that involve the best interests of the child. An experienced family law attorney can assist by arranging a platform for negotiations between parents to establish a workable plan for dealing with legal aspects of child custody.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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