Entertainment Love and Romance Illinois Child Custody Laws and Visitation Rights Familiarize Yourself with Child Custody Laws in Illinois Share PINTEREST Email Print Eternity in an Instant/Photodisc/Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Debrina Washington Family law attorney and writer University of Pittsburgh School of Law Skidmore College Debrina L. Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. our editorial process Debrina Washington Updated May 23, 2019 A family court in Illinois considers several factors when determining child custody. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Illinois should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state. Best Interests of the Child Family courts will determine child custody in Illinois based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider the following factors in determining a child's best interests: Parent's wishesChild's wishes - a judge may interview the child in privateChild's relationship with the parentsChild's adjustment to home, school, and communityMental and physical health of all involved partiesHistory of domestic violence or threats of violence against a child or another partyWillingness of each parent to encourage a relationship with the other parentWhether either parent is a sex offenderWhether either parent is an active military service memberWitness testimony - a court may order a third party evaluation Joint Custody Family courts in Illinois prefer to award parents joint legal custody, noting that joint physical custody should be determined by the parents' agreement or the court's order. In determining whether joint custody is appropriate, a family court in Illinois will consider the following factors: Factors relevant to the best interests of the childEach parent's living accommodations If parents in Illinois are awarded joint custody, the parents must sign a Joint Parenting Agreement, which explains each parent's rights and responsibilities for the care of the child. A Joint Parenting Agreement will also have a mediation clause, which orders parents to mediate all disputes with regards to the joint custody arrangement. Visitation and Child Custody in Illinois In Illinois, if a parent is not granted custody of a child, he/she is entitled to reasonable visitation unless: A court determines that visitation will seriously endanger a child's physical, mental, or emotional health.To protect a child, a family court in Illinois may also order visitation with a child at a local public or private facility. Custody Modification In Illinois, child custody may not be modified until at least two years after the original custody order, unless the court believes that the current custody arrangement will endanger the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. For more information about child custody in Illinois, please refer to the Illinois child custody laws or speak with a qualified attorney in Illinois.