May 8, 2022

Physical vs. Legal Custody in IL: What’s the Difference?

Physical vs. Legal Custody in IL: What’s the Difference?

A divorce is a legal separation between a married couple, and the ramifications often extend beyond those two people. If a child is involved, questions such as who will take care of the child and how the parents will raise them will arise. These questions are the basis of both physical and legal custody. Here are the differences between physical and legal custody in Illinois.

What Is Physical Custody?

Physical custody determines who the child will primarily live with. Courts can award one parent sole custody or give both parents joint custody, but only one parent will be designated as the primary residential parent. The judge makes this determination so that the child can have a permanent address for documentation for schools, health care, and the like.

What Is Legal Custody?

Legal custody determines decisions regarding raising the child. In Illinois, a judge will typically award joint legal custody so that both parents can make decisions for the child together. Decisions that fall under legal custody may include topics such as health, education, and religion.

Why Are They Not the Same?

Even if a judge feels that joint legal custody of a child isn’t the best option, they’ll do their best to keep both parents involved in the child’s life. However, a divorce can often result from one spouse being abusive or absent from the relationship or from the child’s life. In these cases, the judge will usually award one parent sole physical and legal custody in these cases.

It all ultimately comes down to the child’s best interests. The differentiation between physical and legal custody is essential in maintaining positive relationships in the child’s life.

These are some of the major differences between physical and legal custody in Illinois. However, it’s important to remember that in any instance where a judge makes a custody decision, the decision will always be in the child’s best interests. To show your judge what’s in your child’s best interest, come to SDF Law for the best Chicago child support attorneys. We can help you achieve the best outcome for both you and your child.

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