One of the major questions when getting a divorce is who will get custody. You also have to know what kind of custody you are looking for. There was a story in the Huffington Post divorce section about parents going to court without really knowing what the custodial rights they are asking for mean. An experienced family lawyer will be able to help you with these difficulties.
Judge Michele F. Lowrance, a family court judge for 17 years, says in the story that in many cases, a parent asking for sole custody does not really know what it entails. She says this also applies for parents seeking joint custody. Like many other things in divorce, going to court for custodial rights is not only emotionally demanding, but it can also be very confusing as far as the rights involved in different custodial agreements go.
As you might know, sole custody does have attributes missing from joint custody that favor the sole custodian. The sole custodian has the right to make all the major decisions regarding medical care, education, and religion, and getting a court to allow you to move out of the jurisdiction might be easier. For the non-custodial parent this of course means a flip side of these rights, meaning they will not have access to school or medical records.
Lowrance says that if there are drugs or alcohol involved, courts will often prefer granting sole custody. The same goes for extremely combative parents or those with mental disorders.
The important thing to remember amongst all the legal intricacies is that many aspects of both joint and sole custody agreements are not written in stone, and they can be made to meet the specific needs of the parents. Parenting orders, regardless of which custody is chosen, can be made as unique as a fingerprint, Lowrance says.
Legal issues are never simple, which why it is extremely important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. An experienced lawyer can help you with the confusing legal aspects and explain to you what your best options are. When you are dealing with family law, get skilled legal assistance from our dedicated family law attorneys in Naperville, Illinois.