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Advocates ask for 50-50 child custody in Illinois

Calls are being made for modifications to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Across the country, 35 other states are seeking similar changes. The changes sought would begin proceedings with a legal presumption of 50-50 child custody. Most parents put the needs of their children first, and they will pursue an outcome that is in the best interest of their children. The same applies to family courts, which will continue to consider various factors to ensure such an arrangement will be in the child's best interest.

Advocates for this change include parents, mental health professionals, family law lawyers and others. They say a 50-50 start will do away with the preconceived idea that mothers are better equipped for parenting. It will allow both parents to be equally involved in parenting, and to maintain loving relationships with their children.

Some concern exists in certain camps about endangering children when the parents maintain abusive relationships. However, the 50-50 rule will not be set in stone, and the court will have the final say after listening to the evidence presented and the arguments of both parents. Advocates underscored the fact that a change to the law will not set 50-50 parenting as an accepted situation that is in the best interest of the child, but rather a rebuttable presumption that can be challenged by appropriate evidence.

Illinois parents that are in the throes of divorce may get answers for any questions they might have about child custody from experienced family law attorneys. A lawyer can assist a client in establishing a workable parenting plan given the specific circumstances. With a bit of effort, it might be possible to draft a plan that suits the schedules of both parents without compromising the best interests of the children. Of course, in some instances, true joint custody would not be in the best interests of the children involved, and a lawyer can help present that argument in family court.

Source:, "'Equal Parenting Time' Proposal Stirring Debate In Illinois", Daisy Contreras, Feb. 8, 2018

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