Many states are pushing towards shared child custody between divorced parents – emphasizing both parents’ roles in raising a child. Unfortunately, a new study showed that Illinois ranks in the bottom five states for the amount of custody time awarded to fathers.
According to Custody X Change, a father is likely to receive about 35 percent of child custody time nationally. In the state of Illinois, the average father only receives 23.1 percent of child custody time. It’s a drastic difference between the 20 states that offer the average father 50 percent of custody time.
Illinois sits at the bottom with South Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Illinois and child custody
Currently, Illinois courtrooms rely on traditional child custody laws to help determine a solution during a child custody dispute. The parenting schedules typically follow alternating weekends from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Sunday, as well as Wednesday evening time.
Once the child is 14 or older, they can choose which parent to live with, but the judge can intervene if the child’s decision is not in their best interest.
Mothers are often seen as more parental in court, so fathers can be at a disadvantage when it comes to scheduling time with their child. State Representative La Shawn Ford told Alton Daily News that he is pushing new laws for fathers and putting them on equal footing with mothers in court.
Until Illinois laws reflect shared time between fathers and mothers, it’s best to work with a former spouse to develop a parenting schedule where you can both be active in your child’s life.