Shared Parenting Laws: Will Illinois Ever Consider Shared Parenting?
The State Of Iowa has on its books a Shared Parenting statute. which establishes shared parenting as the presumptively preferred means of custody in Iowa.
Here in Illinois, litigants often times fight custody "wars" over which parent will "win" the custody of the child(ren). As a lawyer and aggressive advocate for my clients, I enjoy a strongly contested case, but the fight over the custody of children is a battle that often should not be fought. Divorce creates enormous personal stresses in families, and the impact of divorce on children is well known. Having parents fight wars for the time with the children seems to me unhealthy, unnecessarily painful, and uselessly costly to families.
There are cases where joint physical custody is not appropriate. The Courts are well prepared to determine these cases. However, it would be a welcome event to see Illinois evolve out of the custody "dark ages," into a more enlightened view toward statutory shared parenting. This would take the fight out of the parenting part of the case.
Below is a proposed Federal statute for shared parenting, from an Iowa shared parenting advocacy group:
Title of Bill:
An Act Relating to Physical Care of Children in Domestic Relations
Be It Enacted By The United States Congress
1 Preamble: An Act relating to joint physical care of children in domestic relations and
2 establishing a uniform federal law creating a rebuttable presumption that a request for joint
3 physical care is in the best interest of the child.
5 SECTION 1: This act may be cited as, "Shared Parenting bill."
7 SECTION 2: In any domestic relations proceeding, the states shall award joint physical
8 care to both joint custodial parents upon the request of either parent during the proceedings
9 on the initial dissolution petition or during the proceedings on a modification of the original
10 custody order.
12 SECTION 3: A rebuttable presumption exists that a request for joint physical care by either
13 parent is in the best interest of the child, the burden of proof to rebut the presumption rests
14 on the party denying that joint physical care is in the best interest of the child, and such
15 party shall demonstrate that joint physical care is not in the best interest of the child by clear
16 and convincing evidence.