Generally speaking, the conception is that women are given primary custody of children more often than men in divorce. Even in arrangements where parents share custody, children may only spend a couple days per week with their father. Although Illinois child custody laws aim to meet the best interests of children, some observers feel as though family laws haven't caught up with the needs of today's families.
In our last post, we discussed the provisions of a bill currently in the Senate Assignments Committee of the Illinois General Assembly. The bill seeks to add a presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child, and that joint custody should be taken to mean equal custody. Current law requires the court not to consider joint custody as the best alternative. The bill also creates a presumption that both parents are fit parents.
A bill is making its way through the Illinois Senate that could significantly change the state's approach to child custody determinations. There hasn't been much media coverage of the proposal, though a similar proposal in another state has garnered a good deal of attention.
Illinois joined a handful of states recently when Governor Quinn signed the civil union law. Civil unions will be available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples, but same-sex couples celebrated the law a little more heartily. Other states have made headlines recently with decisions that bode well for same-sex relationships -- in particular, a decision from an unlikely venue regarding a child visitation agreement.