One of the first steps in the process of assessing child custody is to understand the options that are available. There are several different types of child custody arrangements available to Illinois residents. One of these is joint legal custody, which means that both parents make the decisions that affect their children's upbringing and welfare. Conversely, sole custody is often chosen when one of the parents is deemed unfit or incapable of fulfilling his or her required parental duties.
Most parents going through divorce wonder which will receive custody of the children. In cases in which the parents successfully reach out-of-court agreements, it is typical for the family court judge to honor the parents' decisions. The parents may decide on an arrangement of true joint custody, which entails the children dividing the time they spend actually living with each of their parents equally. They may also decide that the children should live primarily with only one parent, as long as a schedule for visitation is implemented.