Temporary custody is usually decided during divorce, as the child’s parents are likely to split up before the marriage is dissolved, and is subject to change when the divorce is finalized. After all, divorce typically takes many months, as assets and debts need to be accounted for, child support and spousal support are debated, and division of property is negotiated.
However, in some cases not associated with divorce, a parent (or parents) may wish to willfully give temporary guardianship to another party. For example, a mother with full legal custody may wish to grant the child’s father guardianship if she knows she will be leaving the country for an extended multi-month work trip, during which she will be unable to take care of her child. A guardianship attorney can help make this possible.
Who Can Be Given Custody?
According to 755 ILCS 5/Probate Act of 1975, temporary guardianship may be awarded to a relative or family friend when the parent of a child temporarily cannot provide care. A parent can decide who they want to have as the temporary guardian of their child as long as that person is at least 18 years of age, not a felon, a U.S. citizen, not legally disabled, and of legally sound mind. Typically, a parent will choose:
- The child’s other parent;
- A grandparent of the child;
- A godparent;
- Another close family relative; or
- A close family friend.
In What Situations Would a Parent Award Temporary Custody of Their Child?
Work Obligations: Americans travel for work more now than at any other time. High-income earners ($75,000 or more per year) are significantly more likely to travel for business, with 58.3 percent of respondents to a survey answering “definitely yes” or “probably yes” to a question of whether or not they would consider themselves a frequent business traveler. Some employees are required to work for extended periods out of state or country. For a single parent with considerable work obligations, such as long hours or business trips, obtaining a close family member or friend, or the child’s other parent, to fill in as a temporary guardian may be a good short-term option.
Other Responsibilities: Whether you have educational commitments or an obligation to care for a sick parent, you may not have the time to care for your child as well.
Financial Problems: A parent who cannot afford to take care of his or her child may opt to grant temporary custody.
Temporary Incapacitation: If a parent knows they are going to be sick, with cancer, for example, they can grant temporary custody to another person. The mean number of days per stay in a hospital is 12.5 for admissions due to cancer-related pain, and many cancer patients are admitted numerous times during 12-month periods. Or, if the parent became injured or ill and is expected to require many weeks or months of recovery time in the hospital, they may wish to give temporary custody.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Guardianship Attorney
When awarding temporary custody, you need to ensure you are given visitation rights, as well as set the duration, where the child will live, and other financial agreements. Let the experienced DuPage County child guardianship attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group help. Call us at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.