Q: Is child custody determined before a divorce can be finalized?
A: Illinois no longer has custody and visitation.
Instead, it has parenting plans. These are for both divorce and paternity cases. They can even be used in Order of Protection Cases.
If there are children in a marriage, they are the most important part of the divorce.
It is highly unlikely that a court would grant a divorce without a parenting plan in place.
The usual rule is that the parties try to come to an agreed parenting plan. If they can't, the court will order the parties to go to mediation with an experience mediator. Some of the mediators are retired judges.
If mediation fails, the court will then hold a trial with both parties allowed to bring in witnesses.
Very few divorce cases with children get to this stage.
The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a sample parenting plan.
The Supreme Court Sample Parenting Plan is the fourth divorce form on this page: https://midamericalawoffice.com/divorce-forms/
A: Illinois no longer uses the term "custody." It is now referred to as "parenting time", and this can be set and/or allocated between the parents by a court Order during the pendency of a case. It would be a temporary Order, which would be in effect until the case is finalized.
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