The new House Bill 185 has the same goal as House Bill 4113. Currently, there is a movement among divorced parents, which is seeking to change the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, and give both parents equal parenting time.

Of course, the final parenting agreement, or Allocation Judgment and Parenting Plan, would still depend on each family’s needs. According to the Illinois News Network, the proposed change would state that 50/50 parenting time is only the beginning presumption for parenting time.

Illinois family courts would presume equal parenting time at the start of a case, but the primary residential parent and parenting time issues could be modified depending on the statutory factors, such as:

  • Each parent’s ability and willingness to negotiate decisions together;
  • How close the parents live to each other and their child’s school;
  • Each parent’s parenting style and responsibilities; and,
  • How well the proposed parenting time would fit each child’s needs.

Illinois is not the only state considering these changes. Advocates of the proposed change state that equal parenting time is inherently in the best interest of the child.

Is that true?

During a divorce, all family courts prioritize the standard of what is in the child’s best interests. The goal of this standard is to:

  • Maintain stability for the child during divorce
  • Help protect the child’s overall health
  • Ensure the child receives the care they need

It is true that this standard often states that it is beneficial for each child to sustain relationships with both of their parents after divorce.

However, opponents of equal parenting time state that it would force children to switch between homes too often, and therefore decrease stability.

What would equal parenting look like?

If House Bill 185 becomes law, parents may negotiate an equal parenting time schedule. If the parties are unable to agree, the Judge will determine the parenting time schedule. The Judge would then start with an equal, 50/50, schedule, but may deviate based upon the statutory factors.

The law did not pass the first time it was presented. As it is being presented a second time, the future pertaining to this parenting time proposal is uncertain.

Please call Denis M. Gravel & Associates, P.C., at 847-855-8447 to discuss any and all parenting time issues.

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