In Illinois, custody refers to two major rights. The first is the right and responsibility for personal care of the child, which is often referred to as “physical custody.” The second is the right to make major decisions regarding a child’s welfare, such as medical needs, religious training, and education; this is often referred to as “legal custody.”
In Illinois, custody can be “joint” (shared) or “sole,” which means it’s awarded to just one parent. All custody decisions, including whether to award joint or sole custody, are made by considering the best interests of the child. The court will look at all relevant factors including: child and parent wishes, mental and physical health of all individuals involved, adjustment to home and school, whether physical violence, abuse, and/or threat directed toward the child or another person by a potential custodian exists, interactions and relationships of the child with siblings and his or her parents, and ability and effort of each parent to encourage those relationships.