Going through a divorce often comes with many challenges and questions, especially if children are involved. If this is your situation, consulting with custody lawyers in Lake Bluff can help ease some of the uncertainty. Parents want what is best for their children, even if they no longer want to stay married. Having answers and a clear plan may also ease the tension.
Child custody assigns legal rights to parents for where children will live after a divorce. No two situations are identical, but the court does have legal parameters to determine what is best for the children. Below is an overview of different custody scenarios.
Physical or Sole Legal Custody
Getting physical or legal custody means having the right for your children to live with you after the divorce is finalized. This means you have rights and responsibilities for making decisions about your children’s lives. These may include education, medical care and emotional development.
In this situation, your ex may be entitled to supervised visitations. This is rare decision is usually granted in child abuse or domestic violence situations.
Joint Physical Custody
Generally, it is the preference of courts to award joint physical custody to both parents. This guarantees children continue to have contact with their mother and father. Some laws make this the default agreement for parents who cannot do so on their own.
Although the time is shared, a 50-50 split is usually not required. Some courts enforce a schedule for disagreeing parents, since the children’s best interests take precedent over parental preferences. Some common arrangements include alternating holidays, months and weekends at each parent’s house.
Sole Physical Custody
A sole physical custody arrangement is where children permanently live with the custodial parent. The noncustodial parent has regular visitation rights. One advantage is this arrangement offers stability so children only reside in one location. This can be less stressful for your children, you and your ex. Children can maintain a connection to their school and friends.
One downside is the noncustodial parent might not feel as connected to their children’s lives. They might feel like they are losing meaningful daily interactions and bonds.
Reaching a custody agreement may occur with a mediator or through a judge’s decision. Either way, you should not negotiate or agree to anything before seeking legal advice. The process may vary based on the type of custody, but each one becomes a written legal agreement. Both you and your ex are required to adhere to the terms as you would with any other binding contract.