Illinois parents who are seeking sole physical custody of their children need to be as prepared as possible when facing a judge. This is because that judge may rule in a manner that may be surprising to a parent who may believe that the facts give credence to a claim of sole custody. Parents should also consider whether or not to create a parenting agreement with their former spouse as opposed to going to court.
This may be better for the children while also resulting in a more predictable outcome for both parents. It is also important for parents to understand that sole or primary physical custody of a child does not necessarily shut the other parent out of the child's life. In most cases, the noncustodial parent will be granted visitation rights.
Courts will use several factors to determine who should receive custody of a child. Most importantly, awarding custody to a specific parent must be in that child's best interest. This is true regardless of what the parents may want for themselves. If a mother or father believes that the other parent is truly a danger to a child's health or welfare, it is important to bring evidence of that to court.
Those who are seeking legal or physical custody of a child may benefit from consulting with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help a parent develop a case that explains why he or she should be entitled to those rights. For instance, a parent who has a stable job and living situation may be best suited to raise a child as opposed to a parent who regularly travels for work or may not be employed on a regular basis.