Wheaton Divorce LawyerThere are two types of custody, generally – physical and legal custody. Illinois uses the term “parenting time” to describe physical custody. Parenting time is a term used to describe the time a parent spends with their child physically in their care. Legal custody is called “parental responsibilities” in Illinois. Parental responsibilities is a term used to describe the decision-making responsibility of a parent. This decision-making responsibility can be shared between two parents, or it can be granted to one parent exclusively. The parent or parents with legal custody are tasked with making important decisions about the child’s upbringing and environment. Many parents who are divorced or living apart do not see eye to eye regarding some of these decisions. While both joint and sole legal custody have benefits and drawbacks, arrangements where one parent has sole responsibility for making choices about the child’s life can reduce conflict and protect the child. However, Illinois courts are generally reluctant to exclude either parent from the decision-making process. If you believe that having sole legal custody would be best for your child, it is important to involve an attorney early on in the process. 

How Sole Parental Responsibility Can Help Children

The benefits sole legal custody can offer children and parents alike may include: 

  • Consistency in upbringing – Children thrive when the family’s rules and values are clear and consistent. For example, if one parent believes the child should be raised in a conservative Christian environment while the other parent is firmly liberal and anti-religious, the child can struggle to move back and forth. Moving back and forth between households where parents are not on the same page can cause confusion and disruption in the child’s life. 

  • Reducing conflict – Most parents who are divorced or separated are so because they do not get along and have disagreements. When both parents share decision-making responsibilities, there is a high risk of family conflict when the parents cannot mutually agree.  

  • Protection from a parent – If one parent has a severe mental illness or addiction, they may not be in a position to make good decisions regarding their child. Allowing the other parent sole legal custody can help ensure that decisions are made with the child’s best interest in mind. 

  • Speed – In some cases, trying to track down the other parent and get them to agree with a decision can slow down the process and create further complications. 

These are only a few of the benefits of a sole parental responsibility arrangement. An attorney can help you determine whether you may be able to secure sole decision-making rights. 

Contact a Naperville Child Custody Attorney

[[title]] is committed to helping parents protect their children in the best ways possible. Our caring Naperville child custody lawyers will do all we can to help you develop a smooth and reliable parenting plan. For a complimentary consultation, please contact us at [[phone]]. 




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