When Illinois parents are no longer together, they still have to focus on caring for their children as a unit. There are different types of child custody and visitation that are important to know.
What are common types of child custody?
Legal custody gives a parent the authority to make all major decisions concerning the child’s life.
A parent who has sole legal custody is the person who has the right to make all the above decisions pertaining to the child without discussing them with the other parent. Sole legal custody is granted when one parent is out of the child’s life or doesn’t have the best situation to have custody. For example, if that parent has a history of abuse toward the child, the court could grant sole legal custody to the other parent.
Joint legal custody means that both parents have equal authority to make decisions concerning the child. This is the preferred type in most courts.
Sole physical custody means that the child lives with one parent full-time. Joint physical custody means that the child splits their time living with each parent. For example, the child might live at one parent’s home for three days of the week and at the other’s for the other four days.
What are the different types of visitation?
Parents who don’t have physical custody get visitation with their children. Unsupervised visitation is common and means the parent is allowed to enjoy time with the child without supervision. This type of visitation doesn’t have a limit as long as the parent with physical custody approves of the child spending any length of time with the other parent.
Supervised visitation involves having another adult present while the parent spends time with the child. If the parent has certain problems that make them unfit for unsupervised visitation, the court decides that someone else should be there to supervise.