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Illinois’ Position on Child Custody Disputes

Posted on in Child Custody

parenting time, parenting, children of divorce, child custody, shared parenting, life after divorceA recently published article discussed the problem that some parents face in child custody disputes and the changes that some are calling for in order to level the playing field. Many parents who are involved in divorce cases where children are involved face the possibility of a diminished parent-child relationship. The parent who is not the custodial parent often becomes just a visitor in the eyes of the family. Because of this perceived inequity, many parents who lose out on significant time with their children are trying to make changes to the legal process.

Shared Parenting

Advocates of equal parenting time are trying to get legislation passed that would divide custodial time more fairly between both parents. Their position is that children are better served when they spend equal time with both of their parents. These parents are against laws that would award custody to one parent over another, except in cases where one of the parents is deemed by the court to be unfit. Their proposed legislation would include a clause that mandates both parents get a minimum percentage of parenting time with their children each week.

Not everyone is on board with equal parenting time in custody cases, however. Opponents of such a measure say that judges’ primary concern in making a determination in a custody case should be the best interest of the child, and they need flexibility in doing so. Requiring them to abide by a one-size-fits-all approach will not serve those interests.

National Debate

Illinois is one of seven states to be presented with such legislation, which represents a debate that is going on across the nation. States are being faced with the decision to best ensure that both parents are able to enjoy a continuing relationship with their children after divorce. This new parenting philosophy comes after years of custody being generally awarded to mothers, with fathers being granted visitation every other weekend and perhaps one or two days per week, in addition to being required to pay child support. Illinois has been attempting to address this issue for years, but legislation regarding equal parenting time has yet to be passed.

Changing Landscape

In recent decades, the domestic landscape changed, with a large percentage of women entering the workforce and men fulfilling more a caregiving role, which some say benefitted children. Many research studies have supported this view, showing that children benefit when both parents play an active role in their upbringing, absent extreme circumstances in which one parent has a disorder, addiction, or history of violence. Some advocates of shared parenting time say that it is far too often the case that judges rule as if it was the 1950s, with a bias towards mothers in custody cases.

Child Custody Attorney

It remains to be seen whether shared parenting time will become law in Illinois. Having an experienced divorce and child custody attorney on your side will give you the best chance of obtaining your desired results. Contact the attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the surrounding area.
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