Joint Custody

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Often, divorcing couples with children are most concerned over matters relating to custody and visitation. At ISABEL M. MILLARD we work closely with many allied professionals (child psychologists and evaluators) to ensure that our custody and visitation agreements serve the best interests of the children as well as the parents. Illinois recognizes two basic forms of child custody: joint custody and sole custody. Joint custody has gained both notoriety and popularity over the past several years. At its best, joint custody allows for the maximum involvement of both parents in the lives of their children - signaling to the children that, despite their parents' differences, their needs are what is most important. At its worst, joint custody can serve as a source of ongoing disagreement and litigation between the parties - signaling to the children that they are merely pawns in their parents never-ending battles. Successful joint custody is not easy. It takes hard work, dedication and a great deal of compromise. Children grow and change and their needs fluctuate year to year. As such, the Parenting Agreement that made perfect sense at the time of the divorce must be reviewed and updated regularly. If parents are not willing to recognize this simple fact and work together for the best interests of their children, joint custody will not be successful. Joint custody requires parents to consult and cooperate on all significant matters concerning the children - education, health care, religious training, etc. If the parties did not co-parent the children during the marriage, there is little reason to believe that joint parenting will occur after the divorce. A common misperception among parents is the notion that joint custody means equal parenting time. Not so. Parenting time for the non-custodial parent is the same in both sole and joint custody situations. Another common misperception is that an award of joint custody will prevent the custodial parent from moving out...
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