As a caring parent, you want nothing more than to protect your child or children in the event of a divorce. You have a lot going on, as you and your former spouse are parting ways. Even so, this doesn't mean you can overlook the importance of taking care of your child.
Illinois parents may know that child custody may be one of the most critical issues they face in divorce. For many, the way child custody is determined and how it is defined may be confusing.
Many parents in Illinois who are going through a divorce find that one of the more emotional aspects of the process is how to deal with custody and living arrangements of their children going forward. As is the case around the country, courts in Illinois are required to determine child custody in accordance with the best interests of the children. The Illinois General Assembly has enacted legislation that sets forth a variety of elements that go into this decision. The following brief summary is not intended to constitute legal advice, and every family's situation is different.
Like several other states, Illinois is re-examining its policy on child custody and may be changing the way custody is routinely awarded. Some argue that despite the changing landscape of work and childcare over the past few decades, judges still tend to give primary custody to the mother, and fathers increasingly feel left out. Some parents, lawmakers and others argue that a child does better if both parents share custody equally.
For Illinois parents, going through a divorce can be nerve-racking. For many parents, child custody is the most important part of their divorce, but many people are unsure of the process itself. While every case is different, the state of Illinois provides clear and helpful information about the different types of custody and how child custody is determined.
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.