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Is It Possible for Me to Have Sole Custody of My Child After a Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody

Lombard family law attorneyIf you are a parent who is in the midst of a divorce, you probably have many questions about the future. “Where will I live?” “Will I be able to make enough money?” “What will happen to my kids?” As you probably know, the laws regarding child custody have undergone substantial changes in the last few years. The changes were designed to reduce competitiveness and friction between divorcing or unmarried parents and to encourage cooperative parenting. But what if your former partner is uninterested in taking responsibility for your child? Or, what if it scares you to leave your children with him or her? Fortunately, it is still possible for you to seek an amended version of what used to be called “sole custody” of your child.

New Names for Legal Custody and Physical Custody

At the beginning of 2016, sweeping reforms to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) took effect. The updates largely eliminated the term “child custody” and replaced it with the more nebulous phrase “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Under the amended law, parental responsibilities are divided into two primary areas. “Significant decision-making authority” replaced the previous concept of legal custody, and “parenting time” replaced the old idea of physical custody. Sole and joint custody were two different types of legal custody arrangements as they were established to clarify which parent or parents had the responsibility to make important decisions about the child’s life.

 

Today, courts encourage parents to work together in making decisions about their children, but they recognize that this is not always possible or the best option for the children. You can still ask the court to give you all of the decision-making authority regarding your child. This is effectively the same as the previous understanding of sole custody. You will need to prove that you will make decisions in the best interest of your child and that the other parent’s input would not be positive.

The Effect on Parenting Time

Remember that being given sole authority for significant decision-making will not necessarily give you extra time with your child, nor will it keep your child from spending time with the other parent. Illinois law promises the right of reasonable parenting time to any legal parent who is not shown to be a danger to his or her child. This means that if you are concerned about the way your child is being treated by your former partner, you will need to raise that issue separately. Courts are generally hesitant to restrict or limit a person’s parenting time unless there is clear evidence that the child is in danger in the presence of that parent.

Call Us for Help

To learn more about obtaining sole decision-making authority regarding your child, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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