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Illinois bill seeks to grant non-custodial parents more time

The most important decision in any divorce is what will happen with the children. Naturally, divorce is a life-changing event, which causes many people considerable anguish. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the emotional impact of the process during such times. That is why those currently going through a divorce need a legal representative on their side to advocate their position, particularly as it relates to child custody and visitation agreements with non-custodial parents.

Proposed House Bill 5425 is seeking to expand the total amount of time a non-custodial parent who has been declared fit can have with their child. As it stands now, judges typically award such parents around 30 hours of child custody per week. Supporters of the bill like Illinois Fathers say that increased time given to non-custodial parents would allow for more meaningful relationships to develop between the child and the parent. They also say that many custody disputes could be avoided altogether by the simple enactment of the bill.

Opponents of HB 5425 see things differently. They argue that judges need the ability to tailor an appropriate amount of visitation time based on several factors. They say that HB 5425 tries to adopt a cookie-cutter approach to issues regarding child custody, which may or may not work towards the child's best interests.

Recently, groups supporting the rights of parents rallied at the state Capital in support of this bill. At this stage, it is unclear if the bill will gain support in the House, but one thing is certain: parties on both sides of this issue will be watching closely, because there is nothing that happens in a divorce as important as what happens with the children.

Source: The State Journal Register, "Sponsor of shared-parenting bill hopeful of movement this week" Tobias Wall, Apr. 07, 2014

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