Parents in Illinois will have to make a big decision after they divorce. They’ll need to decide which child custody arrangements work best for their particular situation, and what will benefit their child the most, which can differ from family to family.
One potential option is joint custody. The Legal Dictionary defines this as the shared custody of a child between divorced parents. There are many benefits to this option. Not only is it the one championed by courts, but scientific studies have shown that children of joint custodies often have fewer problems adapting in the aftermath of a divorce than children of sole custody. It will give a child time to bond with both parents, and they will have two primary sources of support in their lives moving forward.
Sole custody, on the other hand, is defined by Findlaw as a situation in which only one parent has custody of the child. This used to be the standard before joint custody was shown to be generally healthier for children. However, joint custody doesn’t work in every situation. If a person’s spouse was abusive, neglectful, or harmful, it might be better to limit their presence in a child’s life. Additionally, some parents may be in jail or part of the army, requiring them to spend time away from the child. In these situations, sole custody might be more practical.
In either case, the weighing of benefits will be up to the parents. They must decide which option suits their needs as a family, and benefits their child the most.