The Most Common Misconception About Sole Custody  Many people want to know what sole custody means. When two people have to decide on who is going to be making decisions for their children, that’s when the term sole custody as opposed to joint custody comes into play. Sole custody means that one parent is the only one making decisions for their children. Joint custody, on the other hand, is when both the mother and the father are legally authorized to make decisions for their children. These would be major decisions such as healthcare, education, and religious upbringing. The distinction between sole custody and joint custody has absolutely nothing to do with where the children are going to be living.

The common misconception is the sole custody in Illinois means that children will be living with one parent or the other. That’s actually what’s known as residential custody. Residential custody means that children live most of the week with one parent and usually have visitation rights with the other parent. Sole custody versus joint custody, on the other hand, has to do with decision making. In sole custody situations, either the mother or the father is going to be the one who will make all of the major decisions for the child, such as healthcare, education, or religious upbringing. In joint custody situations, both the mother and father work together to make major decisions for the children, regardless of where they live.

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation