There are lots of terms that come up during a child custody hearing. If you are currently working through such a proceeding or considering filing for divorce in the near future, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the terms and procedures related to child custody before beginning the process. Illinois’ laws regarding child custody arrangements are written into the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. By understanding how custody arrangements and other legal decisions regarding children are made, you are better prepared for your own custody hearing.
Types of Custody Arrangements
In Illinois, two separate types of custody are recognized: legal custody and physical custody. A parent can have either type of custody solely or as part of a joint custody arrangement.
Physical custody refers to the home where the child resides. When a parent has sole physical custody of his or her child, that means the child lives with him or her full time and may have visitation time with the other parent. When parents have joint physical custody, the court requires the child to spend a specified amount of time in each parent’s home on a weekly or monthly basis.
Legal custody refers to the right to make significant decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions can include where the child goes to school, whether or not he or she will be brought up in an organized religion, and how bank accounts and trust funds in the child’s name may be handled.
Determining a Child’s Home State
In custody matters, the Illinois Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act outlines the factors used to determine whether or not Illinois may be considered to be a child’s home state. This is important because custody decisions for a child must be made in his or her home state.
Illinois may be considered to be a child’s home state if any of the following criteria are met:
- The child has lived in Illinois for the past six months or longer. If the child is less than six months old, Illinois may be considered to be his or her home state if he or she has resided in Illinois since birth.
- If the child lives out of state, Illinois may be considered to be his or her home state if he or she lived here within the past six months and one of his or her parents currently resides in the state.
- If the child and at least one of his or her parents has a significant connection to Illinois and there is evidence of relationships, protection, or personal care existing for the child in Illinois, Illinois may be considered to be the child’s home state if another can not be determined.
Family Attorneys in DuPage County
Call Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at (877) 889-4515 to discuss your custody concerns with one of our firm’s skilled DuPage County family attorneys. We understand the issues you and your child are currently facing and can give you the advice and legal insight that you can use to make the divorce process a little bit less taxing.