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Study on custody outcomes spotlights challenges for Illinois dads

A recent study focused upon child custody laws and outcomes across America lists 20 states that research indicates make consistently strong efforts to secure reasonably equal custody time for both parents in a divorce.

Illinois is not among them.

Indeed, notes Custody X Change (a company that makes software aimed at helping divorcing moms and dads craft parenting plans and work out equitable custody arrangements), Illinois is distinctly unfriendly terrain for divorcing dads generally when it comes to custody matters.

A recent Chicago Tribune article spotlighting the cited study results notes that Illinois is "in the bottom five states for the amount of custody time dads get to spend with kids." Reportedly, an "average" divorced father in Illinois spends only about 23% of his time with his children.

That statistic "doesn't surprise me," says a family specialist at Illinois State University. Professor Aimee Miller-Ott says that one of the most frequent and major complaints she hears from divorced dads she interviews stresses a lack of involvement with their kids.

"[M]oms are seen as more parental," Miller-Ott says, "and that's not necessarily true."

That viewpoint has unarguably been in strong evidence in custody matters across the U.S. for much of the country's history. It is evident, though, that a swing in both public and judicial attitudes has largely tilted the custody pendulum more toward the center in recent years,

And that is certainly true in Illinois, notwithstanding the above research. Many courts readily note that, absent extenuating circumstances, shared parenting outcomes optimally benefit affected children.

A proven Illinois family law attorney will work unstintingly in every divorce matter to promote the best interests of children and the parents who love them.

As for the latter, that equally encompasses both moms and dads.

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