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Illinois Dads Arguing for Equal Parenting Time Agreements

 Posted on December 00,0000 in DuPage County divorce lawyer

Illinois Dads Seek Equal Parenting TimeDuring a divorce, the child custody arrangement is one of the most important decisions the spouses need to make. How much time children get to spend with each parent will affect their relationships and psychological wellness. Illinois courts at one time presumed joint custody to both parents was in a child's best interest. As of 2016, the state updated the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) to change the old custody model to an "allocation of parental responsibilities" standard.

Under the updated IMDMA law, the following was implemented:

  • Both parents have the right to spend time with his or her child, as long as it's in the child's best interests.
  • Responsibilities are divided into parenting time and decision-making.
  • One parent will be the primary residential parent and will have a majority of the decision-making responsibilities.
  • The parents can draft their own parenting agreements, but if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will allocate the responsibilities based on what it believes is best for the child.
  • The court may award sole parenting time to one parent if it determines the other parent is unfit to raise the child.

The law gives greater presumed rights to each parent but makes it unlikely parents will come to an agreement that is similar to joint custody. Because mothers are usually the primary residential parent, some fathers' groups in Illinois are lobbying for a change in the law that would have courts presume equal parenting time is in the best interest of the child. However, other family advocacy groups argue that splitting parenting time 50-50 is sometimes impractical, so it should not be the default arrangement.

Illinois courts consider several factors in determining parenting time, including:

  • The relationship between the parent and child;
  • Any special needs the child may have;
  • What the child wants;
  • Whether one of the parents is trying to alienate the child from the other parent; and
  • The fitness of the parent and whether it poses a danger to the child.

Determining Parenting Time

When reaching an agreement on allocation of parental responsibilities, you should consider what is in the best interest of your children. As an equal parent, you may want to have equal parenting time and decision-making powers, but take into account the strain that might put on your child.

There are many types of parental time arrangements you need to consider during your divorce. Contact a DuPage County child custody attorney at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to negotiate a plan that is best for your child.


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