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Illinois child custody bill in the spotlight, Part 2

Illinois courts have exercised progressively more discretion in recent years concerning the child custody outcomes they fashion in divorce cases. We note on our family law website at The Law Office of Jamie Mitchell in Maryville that judges are empowered to consider numerous factors when determining how to best promote a child's interests following divorce. Their ability to do so promotes tailored and creative parenting outcomes.

Some people want more.

What they are specifically asking for is a formal tweaking of Illinois statutory law addressing child custody that expressly creates a co-parenting model. A would-be bill currently pushing its way forward for consideration in the state's General Assembly wants formal recognition that "the involvement of each parent for equal time is presumptively in the children's best interests."

Many judges already believe that as a general rule, but value their above-cited discretion to make meaningful adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

The legislative bill addressing custody is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago). Ford complains that what most commonly applies now "is almost a default system that puts children with one parent on Wednesdays and every other weekend." He states that such a model is not in any family's best interests.

A prominent fathers' rights group agrees. The Illinois Fathers for Equality states that an equal 50/50 parenting split is "leaps and bounds" better for kids than is a model marked by a single-parent home and only occasional visits from one of the parents.

Not everyone agrees with that. A spokesperson for domestic violence victims says that the bill would erode protections against an abusive partner.

As we have noted in past select blog posts, child custody is a realm in which insightful and properly presented input from a proven divorce attorney can make a meaningful difference in a custody outcome. An experienced family law lawyer can provide further information.

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