How can I get joint custody of my child in Illinois?

Sponsored Answer
Jeffery M. Leving - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Jeffery M. Leving

Located in Chicago, ILLaw Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd.

Chicago, IL
Phone: 312-356-DADS
Fax: 312-419-1365

View Profile

In most situations, Illinois courts favor parents working out some form of joint custody arrangement with their children.  Additionally, Illinois has a joint custody law that I am proud to have co-authored -- and also benefited from as a joint custodial father myself. Joint custody allows parents to remain involved in the lives of their children if the law is utilized most effectively.  There are basically three forms of joint custody. These include: Joint legal custody, where both parents share major decisions-making powers; joint physical custody, where children spend significant time with each parent; or a combination of the two.   

Ideally, parents should work together to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of their children.  However, divorcing parents may not be able to reach common ground concerning custody issues especially when parental alienation rears its ugly head.  Where parents cannot independently work out an arrangement, courts in Illinois have the power to enter a Joint Parenting Order. A Joint Parenting Agreement or Order should contain a detailed explanation of each parent's powers, rights and responsibilities for the care of the child. Provisions for major decisions regarding the child, such as education, health care and religious training, are also required. A time period for review of the terms of the agreement or order, procedures regarding changes, disputes and alleged breaches should be specifically set out in the agreement or order. Lastly, the child's physical residence and detailed schedule of times the child will spend with each parent must be included.   Specificity can result in consistent and stable parenting as opposed to ambiguity, which often results in future conflict and litigation.

But there is no legal presumption that joint custody means equal parenting time, although such can be a great advantage to children, which a court can order.  This should be analyzed on a case by case basis. It must be remembered, it is the child and his or her best interest that should be controlling.

While courts generally prefer some form of shared custody, in certain situations, a judge may grant full custody to one parent.  Because protecting your custody rights and preserving your relationship with your child is vitally important, if you have any questions concerning custody you should immediately consult with a skilled Chicago child custody attorney. 

For more questions about joint custody, please visit me at  


Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other Answers By Jeffery M. Leving

Photo of Jeffery M. Leving

What are tips for selecting a lawyer to handle my divorce in Illinois?

As soon as you realize that your marriage is in danger of coming apart, it is important to find an experienced divorce lawyer who can and will fight …

Sponsored answer by Jeffery M. Leving

Photo of Jeffery M. Leving

How do I get a visitation order in Illinois?

Obtaining a court-ordered visitation schedule in Illinois is critically important to protect your rights to see your children. Without a court order …

Sponsored answer by Jeffery M. Leving

Photo of Jeffery M. Leving

How can I modify my visitation order in Illinois?

Once you have obtained a court-ordered visitation schedule, any modifications to the arrangement should generally only be made by a judge. This is …

Sponsored answer by Jeffery M. Leving

Other Answers About Custody & Visitation

Photo of Louise T. Truax

What makes a child custody case complex in Connecticut?

We’re in a day and age when both parents want to play active roles in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, when the marriage ends and a …

Sponsored answer by Louise T. Truax

Photo of Judy Hester

How Can I Get Custody Of My Child In Indiana?

Like many family law questions, the answer to this one is dependent on the family situation and structure. Are you the gatekeeper for the children, …

Sponsored answer by Judy Hester

Photo of Samuel (Sam) Siemon

How does a court in a Georgia divorce, modification or legitimation claim determine what is in the best interests of the child ?

The first thing to note is that the best interests of the child, like almost any issue in a divorce case, can be determined by the divorcing spouses …

Sponsored answer by Samuel (Sam) Siemon

Call Me

To: Jeffery M. Leving

Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

Disclaimer »
Privacy Policy »
*Required fields
Page Generated: 1.3704609870911 sec