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Equal Parenting Time: The Other Side

Posted on in Divorce

equal parenting timeIn Illinois and likely in other states across the country, many court systems are hearing arguments by groups and other organizations advocating for equal parenting time in child custody cases. These groups make their case based on reason, as well as appeals to emotion, to some extent. It is often argued that a child benefits the most from having an ongoing, consistent relationship with each parent. In many cases, this makes sense, and even those who are adamant that equal parenting time is in a child’s best interest acknowledge there are certain exceptions to this general rule. However, a recently published article points out that there are those on the opposite side of this issue, regardless of how prevalent equal parenting schedules are becoming.

Legal Measures

Many states are facing decisions involving legal efforts to change standards for courts in making child custody determinations. To be sure, the country has come a long way in the evolution of child custody decisions and parental rights. In the early history of the United States, fathers generally kept custody of their children and mothers did not enjoy legally enforceable rights.

Many, today are aware that this preference has passed, with mothers receiving custody of children in almost all cases resulting in divorce or separation of the parents. This started early in the 20th century and continued to the recent past, with just several decades ago mothers being generally favored to be awarded custody of the children in divorce cases. Now, the past few decades have seen a shift to a more equitable approach and gender neutral standard, with courts making decisions based on the interest of the child.

Now, custody is usually shared between parents, and this has been the norm since the late 1900s. Shared parenting responsibilities, along with valuing the continued relationship the child has with both parents, lends itself to shared custody arrangements. These scenarios seem to be becoming more prevalent as time passes. This seems to support the notion that the current best interest of the child standard supports many, if not a majority, of cases where parenting time is shared equitably, but not necessarily equally.

The Problem with Presumptions

While enforcing a presumption in child custody law which favors equal parenting time may seem like a good solution, there are some who warn against it. For one, those opposed argue it would likely place the best interest of the child second to the primary concern of how each parent will equally split their parenting time per week. It places the focus on treating parents equally as opposed to focusing on what is best for the children involved. Instead, they argue, perhaps a better legal solution would be to require parents to work together in submitting a shared parenting plan to which both have agreed, which can both meet the best interest of the child and prevent the need for further litigation on the issue.

Family Law Attorney

The experienced child custody and support attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC are prepared to discuss your matter with you and advise you of your rights. Contact the DuPage County custody attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

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