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Divorce Overhaul or Minimum Parenting Time in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

parenting time, Illinois child custody, Illinois law, family lawyer, DuPage County family law attorneyAccording to a recent news article, lawmakers in Illinois will soon decide between a proposed overhaul of the state’s divorce law or a bill aimed at securing a minimum amount of parenting time for non-custodial parents in child custody cases. The divorce law overhaul purportedly came as the result of recommendations made by the Family Law Study Committee, which felt Illinois divorce law needed significant revamping. The Committee also agreed that the way in which judges made custody decisions was an area in family law that also deserved their attention.

Minimum Custody Time The Committee said the current typical custody arrangement allowing non-custodial parents to have their children one day per week and every other weekend should be abandoned in favor of equal parenting time, which is in the child’s best interests. A minimum amount of guaranteed parenting time was included in the original proposed legislation as a presumption that could be overcome if certain circumstances called for it. That presumption included allowing non-custodial parents 35 percent of parenting time per week, which equates to about 60 hours. Now, an amendment has changed the language from presumptive to aspirational, or something a judge should desire to implement in custody cases. Taking it a Step Further Many parents’ rights groups who fought for the original bill were not pleased with the amendment. As a result, a new house bill was sponsored by State Representative John Cabello, who took the original draft one step further by making the 60 hours of parenting time a mandate. Those who support this bill say the mandate will deter parties to custody actions from employing whatever means necessary, including lying to a judge, to ensure they will be awarded custody of their child. Opponents say judges should be allowed to view each individual case and use their discretion in determining an appropriate parenting plan under the circumstances. The bill’s mandate would force judges to use one approach for every case they heard. Child Custody Attorney Both bills remain in the amendment stage in the House, and action on either remains to be seen. Some are expressing frustration that the amended bill would not address the primary concern or purpose of the original bill, especially since the original bill was drafted in light of the Committee’s recommendations from highly experienced and seasoned professionals in the legal field, as well as years of research. If you are or will soon be party to a child custody action, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled family law attorney who can immediately begin working diligently to protect your rights as a parent. Contact the attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC  today to schedule a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in child custody and support matters. Our offices are located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville, Illinois.
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