Illinois residents who are fans of the popular television show “The View” may know that Sherri Shepherd is having a child via surrogacy. They may also know that she is no longer with the father. The surrogate is due to give birth to the child, but the couple is currently going through a divorce and they have not determined who will have custody of the child. Shepherd’s husband is seeking sole legal and physical custody of the child, and Shepherd’s position is not known.
There are many people going through divorces in Illinois who have children. Among the numerous issues that they will have to deal with, one of the most important ones will be child custody. This can also be one of the more contentious issues, as many times both parents want to be involved in their children’s lives as much as possible.
A child custody determination is ultimately based on what is in the best interest of the child. The court looks at a number of factors when making these determinations, such as the child’s wishes, the mental and physical capabilities of the parents, the child’s relationship to others living in the household and their adjustment to school.
After weighing the relevant factors the judge then makes decisions as to whether parent will have legal and physical custody, or whether the parents will have joint custody of the child. Parents can avoid leaving the decision up to a judge by coming to a child custody agreement by themselves. There are mediation services available that can assist the parents in coming to an agreement.
Source: Daily Mail, “Uncertain future: Sherri Shepherd’s surrogate due to give birth any day as custody of the unborn baby boy remains in limbo” Chelsea White, July 30, 2014