What factors determine which parent is awarded custody?

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What factors determine which parent is awarded custody?

I have been the primary caregiver to my children. I get them off to school every morning and put them to bed every night. I do their laundry and most often cook them dinner. As the father, what chance do I have to be the custodial parent? If my wife and I decide to share custody 50/50, what determines who is the custodial parent? What impact does a 50/50 split have on child support with me as the sole wage earner? My wife will complete a masters program and will enter the work force in 1 year. We have been married for 8 years. What is the likely percent maintenance and for how long?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

These questions are best asked to an attorney in your area and the attorney really needs to look at the entire picture in order to best tell you.  What I can tell you is that either parent can be the custodial parent these days and if your wife is going to school full time and will have the same issues on managing the kids as you, then you may have an equal chance.  What you did not state here is who picks up the kids from school and who is home with them in the afternoon.   Do they have a sitter?  Then the sitter can be at your house as well as your wife's house.  There are many things that need to be taken in to account.  As for maintenance, that can be temporary and in your case, probably rehabilitative, meaning until she finishes her degree and gets out in to the workforce.  But again, many factors are considered.  Good luck to you.


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