Bill in Favor of Equal Parenting Time Reintroduced in Illinois House
A bill that the Illinois State Bar Association spoke against during last year’s legislative session was refiled this week. The bill, HB 185, would amend the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to mandate a rebuttable presumption in favor of equal parenting time in every family law case.
The only exception is if the parents present an agreed written parenting plan, and that plan is approved by the court. If the court deviates from this presumption, it requires the court to issue a written decision stating its specific findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of its ruling.
ISBA opposes HB 185 in large part because it undermines the best interests of children standard. It presumes a 50/50 division of parenting time regardless of the family situation and needs of the children. The ISBA also believes that it is harmful to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and would increase litigation and costs of legal representation.
Speaking to WICS on Feb. 5, Jesse West Sr., president and founder of Dads Can Too, which is a proponent of the bill, argued in its favor.
“Just because the relationship didn't last, it doesn't change that you're both the child’s or children's parents,” he told WICS. “Something has to be done to change this. I thought about it and thought well, dads can too.”