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Joint custody may be in the best interest of your children

Joint custody may be in the best interest of your children

In Illinois, the courts recognize two types of child custody: legal and physical custody. While these terms are often used interchangeably, child custody lawyers in Chicago understand that there is actually a big difference between the two.

Legal custody refers to the responsibility a parent may have to make legal decisions on behalf of their child, including educational, medical and religious care. On the other hand, physical custody refers to where a child resides on a daily basis. When making custody determinations, a judge must decide whether to award sole or joint custody to parents. While an exact 50-50 split in parenting time is not always the result, it is assumed that shared parenting is in the best interest of children.

A reduction in trauma

Going through a divorce can have a significant emotional impact on children. They may experience feelings of loss or rejection by one or both parents. However, child custody lawyers in Chicago often see a lessening of this psychological trauma when parents are awarded joint custody.

Maintained healthy relationships

With access to both parents, children are better able to maintain good relationships with their parents throughout their lifetime. Living in both households allows children to experience the love and attention of mom and dad without worrying about the fear of losing either parent. These improved relationships let children spend more time thinking about normal childhood concerns, rather than those that should be reserved for adults.

Avoidance of self-blame

Some children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the breakup. Joint physical and legal custody requires parents to work together to provide a good living environment for their children, which often results in lessened conflict. When children can see their parents getting along, they may be less likely to believe that they were the cause of the divorce.

Prevention of “good parent/bad parent” situations

In some divorce cases, child custody is awarded to only one parent. Child custody lawyers in Chicago know that this may lead children to believe that one parent is good, while the other is bad. In addition, when children spend most of their time with one parent, the time spent with the other may seem like a getaway. Shared parenting allows exes to come up with collaborative disciplinary techniques that prevents children from viewing either as the fun parent vs. the disciplinarian.

When it comes to child custody, joint custody may be the result that parents strive for. By having shared time with each parent, children are often better able to thrive in their living environment.

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