§ 701. Rights and responsibilities of parents; guardian appointment
(a) The father and mother are the joint natural guardians of their minor child and are equally charged with the child’s support, care, nurture, welfare and education. Each has equal powers and duties with respect to such child, and neither has any right, or presumption of right or fitness, superior to the right of the other concerning such child’s custody or any other matter affecting the child. If either parent should die, or abandon his or her family, or is incapable, for any reason, to act as guardian of such child, then, the custody of such child devolves upon the other parent. Where the parents live apart, the Court may award the custody of their minor child to either of them and neither shall benefit from any presumption of being better suited for such award.
(b) This section shall not affect the laws of this State relative to the appointment of a guardian of the property of a minor, or the appointment of a third person as a guardian of the person of the minor where the parents are unsuitable or where the child’s interests would be adversely affected by remaining under the natural guardianship of his or her parents or parent.