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Child custody laws in Illinois could be set to change

Parents in Illinois who part ways as a couple and share a child will undoubtedly be aware of the need for some form of child custody agreement. This is a strategy to address parental responsibilities, give the child an idea as to how the situation will play out as they move forward and lets the parents know they will need to come to an agreement on parenting time and other important issues. However, legal changes can force parents and children to adapt.

A bill that has been proposed by a state representative would put in place a co-parenting template when a couple divorces in Illinois. The goal is to step back from one parent being granted child custody and move toward a flexible, co-parenting method. This was enacted in other states recently and is deemed by many to be a fairer method than the previous way of giving one parent child custody with the other parent having visitation rights. It is believed that the child's best interests will be served with such a program.

Some activists and advocates are for this proposed change, while others are against it. A fathers' rights group believes that children who spend time with both parents equally are better off than children who are in a circumstance with custody tilted to one parent. Opponents say that the new law would hinder the court in making decisions based on ancillary factors, such as possible domestic abuse. For its part, the Illinois State Bar Association is against the proposal.

For parents who are ending their relationship, it is important to have a grasp on the law in its current form and any potential changes that might be afoot. A legal professional who is experienced in family law and custody and visitation can be a help in handling any child custody case whether it is amicable, difficult or in outright dispute.

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

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