Illinois’ divorce laws could be up for debate this week when lawmakers are scheduled to hear a bill supporters say would throw out the existing system of parenting time.
A number of states are either considering or enacting divorce laws that would move away from one-parent guardianship to a kind of co-parenting model with more flexibility. Kentucky enacted a law last year allowing a court to give both parents equal footing during the divorce proceedings. Supporters of equal parenting laws say the flexibility creates a better opportunity for both parents to be present in a child’s life.
State Rep. Lashawn Ford, D-Chicago, is the sponsor of a bipartisan bill scheduled for a hearing when lawmakers return to Springfield next week that would create a co-parenting model in Illinois’ divorce proceedings. His bill changes divorce law to recognize that “the involvement of each parent for equal time is presumptively in the children’s best interests.”
Ford said the state’s existing laws that favor one parent over another don’t have the child’s best interests at heart.