Going through a divorce is complicated in itself, but things can get even more intricate when a couple has to figure out child custody arrangements. Typically, non-custodial parents in Illinois are awarded four hours of visitation each week, in addition to visitation every other weekend, coming in at under 30 hours per week.
However, a new bill in Illinois may soon allow parents with non-custodial parental rights to see their children about 60 hours per week, nearly doubling the current standard. HB5425 would also give parents 90 days to come up with a parenting plan on their own terms. If parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule on their own, the 60-hour minimum for the non-custodial parent would take effect. Proponents of the bill believe it is a step in the right direction, and recognizes the importance of providing time to bond between the child and non-custodial parent.
Some groups have expressed opposition toward the bill, such as the Illinois State Bar Association, stating that it would not support the bill if the 60-hour minimum for non-custodial parents was not removed. A representative of ISBA said the reason for not supporting the 60-hour minimum is because it suggests a one-size-fits-all model, which may not work for all families affected by the bill, especially taking the age of the child into consideration.
Divorced parents in Illinois who are looking to set or adjust a visitation schedule may want to consider working with a legally trained professional. Especially as the law develops and possibly changes, proper guidance may help ensure that the child spends adequate time with each parent, in an effort to build close relationships with both parents.
Source: The State Journal-Register, “Shared Parenting bill would set new visitation rules,” Tobias Wall, Mar. 19, 2014