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Child Visitation Update: Will Illinois fathers soon be entitled to a minimum of 35 percent of their child's time?
April 9, 2014: There is an update regarding the progress of the Illinois State Legislature and the bill introduced by two Illinois legislators to provide a mandatory minimum amount of parenting time for fathers in Illinois for 35 percent of their child's time.
House Bill 4124 makes a legislative finding in the purpose and rules of the construction section of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. It states, "In order to maximize the opportunity for each child to maintain and strengthen the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s best interests may be served with a minimum amount of residential parenting time for each parent of not less than 35 percent of available residential parenting time."
What is interesting here is that the bill passed the Illinois State Legislature (passed the House) by a 69-36-1 vote. However, the bill must still pass the State Senate. Also noteworthy, the proposed new law would not permit fathers to try and reduce their child support payments.
Fathers could not argue that since they now have at least 35 percent of the child's time, the mother's need for child support should also be reduced. Hence, any father, awarded at least 35 percent of their child's time, would not, without other circumstances, be entitled to any reduction in child support. The new proposed law is not enough alone to be a reason for a father to pay less than the guideline for child support. Time will tell as to whether this proposal will become part of the Illinois Custody and Visitation law.
For more information on this topic, please see our prior blog, "Are Illinois Fathers Shorted Visitation Time with Their Children?"
If you have questions or concerns regarding a father's rights or child visitation, and you seek legal guidance, please contact the Law Office of Martoccio and Martoccio at 630-920-8855.