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Family law: Will Illinois pass proposed new divorce laws?

State Representative Ford recently sponsored a bill designed to bring about changes to the existing parenting time system. If this debate goes his way, Illinois might be following a route similar to other states that have modified family law to put both parents on an equal footing when it comes to child custody and parenting. However, it will not be easygoing because some resistance exists.

Ford maintains that the current laws do not consider the best interests of the child but rather a system that defaults to giving one parent preference while the other gets the child every second weekend and on Wednesdays. Supporters of the proposed bill say the benefits to children who continue to be part of the lives of both parents -- even if in separate homes -- are substantial. The Illinois Fathers for Equality say an environment of 50/50 co-parenting has unlimited advantages for children.

Contrary to those in favor of the change, opponents believe this change will put many children in harm's way. The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence believe it would be detrimental to court flexibility and it would not benefit fair parenting laws. The coalition believes the new law will remove the existing protection divorce law offers against controlling spouses, and also those who might be abusive.

With changing laws, any Illinois parent who is considering divorce can seek the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can explain the latest statutes and assist with drafting parenting plans. In cases in which there are fears of abuse, legal counsel can explain the legal rights and find the best way to arrange parenting in a manner that will be in the best interests of the child.

Source:, "Equal parenting laws up for debate in Springfield", Cole Lauterbach, April 5, 2018

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