When parents divorce, the court decides who has custody of the child. In Illinois, judges can also award temporary custody to one parent for the duration of the divorce hearing so the child's life can go on as normally as possible during the divorce. In emergency situations, people other than the custodial parent can ask a court to temporarily grant them custody to protect a child from harm.
In an emergency situation, out-of-state courts may temporarily award custody to someone other than the legal custodian of the child. Emergency situations are situations where the child is abused, neglected or abandoned. For example, if a child and parent are vacationing out of state and authorities observe that the parent is consistently intoxicated, authorities can go to the court and request the child be removed from the parent's custody. In emergency situations, the court must communicate with the Illinois court that granted the custody decree to determine how to best protect the child.
Temporary Custody During Divorce Proceedings
In Illinois, divorce judges may grant temporary custody to one parent while divorce proceedings are ongoing. Divorce can take several months or even years. If the parents cannot determine who makes medical or educational decisions for the child while the divorce is being finalized, the judge may give temporary custody to one parent.
Temporary Custody and Death or Incarceration
If the custodial parent dies or is incarcerated, Illinois law says custody automatically passes to the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent cannot appoint a different guardian to the child via a will. In cases of incarceration, the parent may make temporary arrangements for the child's care at the time of arrest but may not appoint the caretaker as temporary custodian of the child. A person other than the non-custodial parent who seeks custody of the child in these circumstances must go to court to request temporary or permanent custody of the child.