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How is custody arranged in Illinois?

If you have a child and are going through a divorce, one thing you should understand is how the court determines custody. Overall, like any other state, the courts want to do what's in the child's best interests.

When thinking about what's best for the child, the judge also has to consider the parents' situations. Here are a few other facts about child custody in Illinois.

Judges have to consider many factors

To start with, judges have to look at factors such as a child's wishes and if either parent is an active member in the military. The judge also has the opportunity to hear from third-party witnesses and will look into each parent's willingness to work with the other parent.

If there is a history of abuse, trouble with addiction or other negatives, then the judge will consider these and weigh the risks to the child during the custody hearing.

Joint custody is preferred in Illinois

In Illinois, judges and courts typically award joint legal custody and potentially joint physical custody. The judges have to be cautious to look out for the best interests of the children and to make sure each parent has the appropriate living conditions to bring a child into the home.

If the court does award joint custody, both parents have to sign a Joint Parenting Agreement document, which dictates how they will care for the child along with their rights and responsibilities.

If you have questions about your custody order, it's best to contact your attorney or raise your concern to the judge while in court.

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