Can I Still Get Sole Custody of My Child?

 Posted on November 17, 2016 in Child Custody

Kane County family law attorneysDivorced and unmarried parents often face a number of important decisions when determining how to structure parenting arrangements for their children. You may be aware that recent changes to the law in Illinois have increased focus on cooperative parenting agreements and joint parenting plans. While cooperative parenting is great in theory, the reality is often much different. In many cases, it may still be appropriate for one parent to pursue sole responsibility for important decision-making, the amended version of what was once called sole custody.

New Terminology, Similar Responsibilities

For many years, the state of Illinois recognized two distinct types of arrangement for child custody: sole custody and joint custody. Each referred to the concept of legal custody, meaning the authority to make decisions regarding a child’s life and upbringing. A parent with sole custody was responsible for making all important decisions, while parents with joint custody would need to make such decisions together.

This year’s family law reform measure, however, removed the word “custody” from most of the applicable laws, and eliminated the terms “sole custody” and “joint custody.” The intent was to reduce the contentiousness that was associated with such language and to facilitate more active participation from both parents, without regard to titles and labels.

When to Ask

The amended law encourages parents to cooperate whenever possible in raising their children, but doing so is not always the greatest idea. If your child’s other parent is not particularly interested or capable of protecting your child’s best interests, you may need to assert yourself by asking for sole authority over important decisions. In doing so, you will need to show that you will act in your child’s best interests at all times, and that input from the other parent regarding your child’s education, health care, religious training, and extracurricular activities would not have a positive effect on the situation.

Keep in mind that if you are granted sole decision-making authority, you are not necessarily granted more time with your child or additional child support. Child support calculations are primarily income-based, and the right to reasonable parenting time is presumed for any parent who has not been found to present a danger to the child. Even if the other parent has no authority for important decision-making, he or she has the right to some parenting time.

Let Us Help

If you are a parent seeking sole responsibility for decision-making regarding your child’s upbringing, the experienced Kane County family law attorneys at Goostree Law Group can provide the guidance you need. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation today and we will work with you in protecting your child’s best interests.




Share this post:
Back to Top