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Why Illinois Has Not Passed an Equal Parenting Time Law

Posted on in Fathers' Rights

Why Illinois Has Not Passed an Equal Parenting Time LawIllinois fathers’ rights groups are pushing for a legal presumption of equal parenting time, but a majority of Illinois' lawmakers are unwilling to change this aspect of the state’s divorce laws. Last spring, an equal parenting time bill stalled in a committee of the Illinois House of Representatives. Illinois law presumes that it is in the best interest of a child for one parent to have a majority of the parenting time unless a parent can prove otherwise. Fathers and some lawmakers want to reverse that presumption so that 50-50 parenting time is the default arrangement.

Arguments in Favor

Though there is no gender bias written into Illinois’ parenting laws, mothers are still far more likely to receive a majority of parenting time after a divorce than fathers. Mothers are traditionally the primary caregivers in a family, which makes them the logical choice if one parent must have a majority of the parenting time. Parenting agreements often divide parenting time into a 70-30 split. Fathers argue for the equal parenting time law because:

  • It could give fathers more parenting time, which would benefit the children;
  • It is difficult to get a court to approve equal parenting time with the current law; and
  • It would still allow courts to award a majority of parenting time to one parent if it is in the best interest of the children.

Arguments Against

Illinois presumes unequal parenting time because courts often believe that an equal parenting time schedule is overly disruptive to the children. It is in a child’s best interest to have a stable living situation with minimum traveling between parents. With 50-50 parenting time, the children:

  • May need to switch between parents several times during the week;
  • Would be forced to switch on a weekday; and
  • Would not have the stability of a primary home.

Equal parenting time is impractical in several cases. By changing the law, a majority of divorce cases may involve the parents rebutting a presumption that equal parenting time is preferred for their children.

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

You must consider which parenting arrangement is best for your children during your divorce. As a father, you are entitled to a share of parental responsibilities for your children, but a 50-50 division of parenting time could put stress on them. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, will help you advocate for a parenting agreement that works best for you and your children. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.


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