Child custody or parenting time is always a tough topic to tackle for courts. The court aims to keep the best interests of the children in mind when making such decisions, which often ends up being to the detriment of one of the parents. Lawmakers in Illinois are trying to make changes to the law to allow for 50/50 parenting time.
This new law seeks to start with each parent getting 50% of the parenting time. Only through providing solid evidence could a parent get the court to change the percentage of the other parent. While it may seem great that the law seeks to make things equal between both parents, it is not without its opponents.
The argument for equality
Those who support the 50/50 parenting movement feel it is in the best interests of the child and does not veer far from the current law. They feel that starting both parents on equal footing is better for everyone because both stay involved with the children, and the children are able to maintain solid relationships with both parents.
Furthermore, they say it removes the imbalance that occurs when one parent gets most of the parenting time. Courts have long been accused of bias and awarding the majority of parenting time automatically to mothers, but this law helps prevent that bias.
The argument against
Those who oppose this law feel it is not in the best interests of the children. They say it opens the doors for abuse because parents who try to get their children away from an abusive parent would have to spend a lot of time in the court to do so.
In addition, having to go to court more often increases expenses and loads down the court with cases, putting a strain on the system. This also provides a disadvantage to the parent who is not as financially stable and would be unable to afford the ongoing court costs.
As of 2019, 35 states have a 50/50 parenting law on the books. It may be controversial, but it works in many cases. Time will tell if Illinois will add it to its law books.