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Extensive Changes Could Be Coming to Illinois Divorce & Custody Laws

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family law, parenting time, Illinois divorce law, Illinois legislation, children of divorceTwo very different family law bills are in front of Illinois state legislatures for review and revision. The first bill, presented by Illinois State Representative Kelly Burke, is an expansive omnibus bill that creates new standards and regulations for the Illinois state family laws. The second bill, presented by Representative Cabello, sets more specific goals, including minimum parenting time standards for divorced couples. In the upcoming months state representatives here in Illinois could be forced to choose between these two different laws. These bills could have significant impact on various realms of family law, and it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to answer any legal questions that you may have.

Representative Burke's Omnibus Bill

Representative Kelly Burke is the official sponsor of the omnibus House Bill 1452. The bill is based on recommendations made to the Family Law Study Committee, which was created in 2008 by a joint resolution of the Illinois House of Representatives. The primary mission statement of the Committee is to facilitate legislative efficiency in the execution of family and custody laws in Illinois. Original versions of this sprawling 196-page bill included the Committee's recommendation that it was in the child's best interest for parents to share equal parenting time. Furthermore, within the original language of the bill, judges were given the presumption that allotting a non-custodial parent with around 60 hours of parenting time per week was according to a child's best interests. The draft also provided the courts with the right to exercise judicial discretion when parents were not able to agree to a binding parenting plan on their own.

Representative Cabello and House Bill 5425

Original supporters of Burke's omnibus bill are currently up in arms over the changes that have been made to the original draft. In fact, the group Illinois Fathers and Fathers' Rights believes that key language that had been agreed to by the Family Law Study Committee was cut and replaced without the Committee's consent. Complaints about changes to Burke's omnibus bill resulted in Rep. Cabello agreeing to sponsor House Bill 5425 as an alternative. House Bill 5425 makes the 60-hour non-custodial parent provision a mandate and maintains the judicial discretion that was removed from Burke's omnibus bill. Supporters believe that this bill will prevent custody battles by providing both custodial and noncustodial parents with legally mandated parenting time, as opposed to using long protracted legal battles to determine the rights of noncustodial parents to have parenting time.

Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney for Help

Changes to Illinois child custody and family laws could come with the passing of either. Contact the family law attorneys here at the Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. in Plainfield, Illinois for all of your family law questions or issues.
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