Understanding Joint Child Custody under Illinois Law

During the past few years, joint child custody has become a popular choice in Illinois because it permits both parents the opportunity to spend time with their children. In this way, children benefit, too, as they don’t feel cut off from seeing one of their parents. However, joint child custody can have a downside: Co-parenting can exacerbate disagreements between the parents and present long-term challenges.

The Circuit Court of Cook County provides information about joint child custody on its website. The process requires a lot of work and cooperation between both parents, especially as time goes by and the children grow up. For this reason, it is essential to update the joint custody agreement on a regular basis to ensure the children continue to benefit in every aspect of their lives including their education, social and religious activities, and healthcare.

The ability to co-parent, or to establish a balanced, healthy relationship between both parents and the children, is one of the great challenges of joint custody. In some cases — specifically those in which one spouse did not accept parenting responsibilities during marriage — joint custody is particularly challenging.

Many couples who opt for joint child custody do not consider the prospect of child support. Just because both parents are custodial does not mean one does not need to pay child support. A family attorney can assess your situation to determine how much, if any, child support payments could be part of the custody agreement.

If you are considering divorce, the guidance of an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer could prove invaluable. The Law Office of Anthony Abear, P.C can explain the pros and cons of both types of child custody to help you develop an agreement that represents the child’s best interests. To schedule a consultation with an experienced DuPage County family lawyer, please contact our office at 630-904-3033.