Your Family Matters

How often do the Illinois courts give one parent sole custody?

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | family law

People often let their fear of divorce keep them from seeking their optimal happiness later in life. All too often, people believe exaggerated stories they heard on social media or urban legends. They let those half-truths and myths keep them trapped in a miserable marriage. 

One of the most pervasive and consistent falsehoods people spread about divorce is that one parent can very easily prevent the other from having a relationship with the children. Are the Illinois family courts likely to award one parent all of the parenting time when dividing parental rights and responsibilities? 

Sole custody is an unusual outcome

Technically, judges have the authority to enter any terms that they believe would be in the best interests of the children in the family. Usually, that means keeping both of the parents as actively involved in their lives as possible. 

Although there is no guarantee of a 50/50 division of parenting time, judges often seek to split parental rights and responsibilities as evenly as possible because they believe that having two involved parents is what is best for the children. 

Any parents seeking sole custody in a litigated divorce would need to overcome that presumption by presenting evidence that the other parent presents some kind of threat to the children.  Claims of domestic violence validated by police reports or medical records supporting allegations of drug abuse could influence a judge to reduce one parent’s time with the children. 

However, unsubstantiated claims and interpersonal conflict between the parents will typically not lead to the courts terminating one parent’s rights in favor of the other. Learning more about what truly matters in litigated custody cases will help people overcome their fears about filing for divorce.