Determining Child Custody in Will County

Child custody in Will County is known as Parental Responsibilities, which consists of only four major decisions: (1)Religion, (2) Education, (3) Healthcare, and (4) Extracurricular activities. It does not involve what time the children go to bed, what they eat for breakfast, or even where they live, per se.

If you need legal advice on your current or pending custody arrangement, consult with an experienced divorce lawyer. An attorney at Reidy Law Office LLC could help you explore all reasonable options when determining child custody in Will County. Call today to discuss your situation.

Allocation of Parental Responsibility

The four allocation decisions may be split up in any manner. If the parents recognize that the other one is a good parent, but maybe not a good spouse, the parties are usually able to arrange a 100% joint parenting allocation or “joint custody.”

Split allocation is also possible in some situations. If one party wants to make all the decisions for education and one party wants to make all the decisions for medical care, it could be done. For example, the wife could make education decisions, the husband could make medical decisions, and they jointly could make the decisions on religion and extra-curricular activities.

Religion

Religion is important, but most parents are on the same page for religious decisions. It is rare that people would have diametrically-opposed religious beliefs and have children together.

Education

Education is typically agreed upon if the children are currently enrolled in school. The parties, if they have children, have either moved to an area where they like the public schools or they have enrolled their children in an agreed upon private school. Unless something is going on with the current school, the parents are likely to agree for the kids to stay there.

Healthcare

Healthcare is often agreed between the parents. Most parents agree to follow the doctor’s recommendations and agree to allow their ex-spouse to get a second opinion if they want to explore alternate options before following the doctor’s advice.

Extra-Curricular Activities

For extra-curricular activities, most parents make those decisions jointly. They know what their kids like, what they think is appropriate, and are able to make those decisions. If they cannot make these decisions, there should be good mechanisms within a court order to ensure both parents understand their rights and responsibilities for extracurricular activities.

Common Child Custody Myths

There are many “myths” associated with custody. People believed that if an individual had custody that meant they got child support, but this is not necessarily true. The Illinois Supreme Court said that even if one party has physical custody, they could be ordered to pay child support to the non-custodial parent under certain circumstances. Another “myth” is custody means that children live with them all the time and they get to decide the other parent’s parenting time, but this is also not true.

Another common “myth” concerns the child’s residence. People may be designated as a “residential custodian,” but that is for the purposes of organizations that require a custodial parent, such as a school. If the children are going to a public school, oftentimes the school asks who is the residential or custodial parent. An allocation judgment may say the mom is designated as the residential or custodial parent solely for purposes of school, but this does not affect the dad’s parenting rights in terms of the decision-making or parenting time.

Determining Custody

Custody in Will County is going to be determined by the parties or the judge. The easy way is for the parties to agree upon how they are going to make those decisions. If they are not able to agree on decision-making steps, the judge makes that decision. If the parties do not have an initial agreement, there are often several steps before the judge makes a final decision.

First, the court will likely order the parties to complete a parenting class about co-parenting and order mediation if they cannot initially agree. If there is not an agreement after mediation, the Court will often appoint an attorney on behalf of the children, which is called a Guardian ad Litem or Child Representative, depending upon the circumstances.

If the parties still cannot reach an agreement, the Court may order psychological testing and the parties may get their own experts involved. Then there will likely be several days in court before the Court ultimately makes a decision.

How a Will County Divorce Attorney Could Help

Divorce lawyers could help ease the process of determining child custody in Will County by understanding the background of the parties and simplifying the legal jargon into plain English. A good lawyer will help the parties realize that most parents are able to do joint decision-making or at least weigh in on them together. It is important to understand that this process is not about winning or losing. If a party cares about winning, the children will lose.

If you need assistance coming to a child custody arrangement, do not hesitate to contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Reidy Law Office LLC. Click here to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.

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