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Advocates push for mandatory 50/50 parenting time

Divorce is a big decision. Even when it is the right decision, it still involves a significant change in the lives of the spouses. When children are involved, the parents are not the only ones that have to adapt to a new future. Making sure that decisions are made with the best interests of the children in mind can help both during transition and post-divorce.

The big question is “What decisions are in a child’s best interests?” This question is at the center of child custody disputes in Libertyville and across the nation. It is also often the subject of legislative reform, and some advocates say the answer lies in ensuring that custody is split 50/50 between parents.

Supporters of this position argue that granting one parent sole custody can harm children. It sets a standard that “raises the stakes” in a divorce said one advocate. When sole custody is on the table, parents may spend more time arguing or feeling bitter towards one another. In some cases, a parent may even use parenting time as a bargaining chip for use in other aspects of a divorce.

Of course there should be some exceptions to shared custody, say supporters, such as ones involving domestic violence.

On the other side of the argument, opponents argue that mandating a 50/50 custody plan in nearly every case wouldn’t lower the disagreements between some parents. One opponent said that the “stopwatch” would come out in these cases, an d the argument would simply turn into making sure the other parent is right on schedule.

There are going to be proponents and opponents to every issue, but what parents can take from this debate is that each family situation isn’t the same as their neighbor’s. An Illinois attorney that understands the unique needs involved in each individual case can help ensure that a custody arrangement truly fits the best interests of the child and the family.

Source: USA TODAY, “Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome,” Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014

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