A concern that many fathers have about Illinois family law centers around the frequency with which the mother is given primary custody of a child after the couple has parted ways. Even if there is a dispute between the parties, the mother is likely to receive the bulk of custody with the child. Some fathers are pushing back against this with an attempt to change the legislation and receive more time with their children. The group “Dads Can Too” wants to receive 50-50 custody
With the proposed law, the sharing of custody with each side having equal time with the child will be based on the parents both being deemed fit to care for the child. One father who is involved with the group has been trying to have more time with his son for four years. Currently, he only sees the child one day per week and every other weekend. According to him, his ex-wife received custody of the child because she has other children. However, he believes that since he has no criminal record and the court deemed him fit, there should be joint custody. The laws of the state do not automatically rule that joint custody is better for the child and their best interests. However, there is some wiggle room.
Another group that advocates for victims of domestic violence is against the goal of fathers being given 50-50 custody. They believe that since each case has different tenets, such legislation would not be in the best interests of everyone involved in a custody dispute. The group Illinois Fathers is also advocating for the law. The idea of the law will be that instead of parents showing why they should have time with the child, it must be shown why the other parent should not have time with the child.
Fathers need to be aware of how to protect their rights to have a role in the child’s life. This is not a gift that the court provides, but a right that a competent father has. Whether it has to do with custody, visitation, determining the identity of the biological father, changing orders, dealing with a relocating custodial parent or any other family legal issues, having an attorney is imperative. Fathers who are seeking assistance with anything related to family law should speak to a lawyer who is experienced in cases involving fathers’ rights.
Source: illinoishomepage.net, “Fathers fight for 50-50 custody,” Emilee Fannon, Feb. 3, 2017