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Illinois considers changes to child custody law

For Belleville, Illinois, families that have dealt with family law issues personally, many may agree that some state guidelines do not adequately address all situations. In fact, state legislators have been addressing outdated and/or irrelevant policies for some time. In an effort to make the Illinois family law system more efficient and responsive to the needs of both parents in a divorce, the state is now considering a bill that would alter child custody and visitation procedures.

One clinical psychiatrist commenting on the proposed piece of legislation noted that the current family law system promotes conflict between divorcing parties and is often counterproductive to establishing constructive communication and fair child custody agreements. As a result, the expert argued that the new bill would help to make the process of determining custody arrangements more productive.

The bill in question was introduced by Republican Representative John Cabello and recently passed the House Judiciary Committee. The proposed measure would allow Family Court judges to enforce shared parenting time arrangements in the event that parents are unable to establish their own agreement within 90 days. If deemed appropriate by the judge, the noncustodial parent in the case would automatically be awarded at least 35 percent of parenting time.

A similar bill presented by a Democrat representative is also under review, so it’s not certain that the Republican proposal will pass. However, the measure is gaining approval from numerous legislators. On the other side of the argument, defendants claim that no piece of legislation should specify a formula for child custody arrangements.

Source:, “Shared-parenting bill moves to Illinois House, its future uncertain,” Tobias Wall, March 24, 2014

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