Equal Parenting Time Bill Shelved... For Now


House Bill 4113, which would give divorced parents equal time with their children, must wait until the next legislative session for further action as the House did not bring it to a vote by the April 27 deadline.

The bill, and similar legislation in 34 other states, provides that presumed equal parenting time is in the best interests of children, and that a court lacks the authority to restrict parenting time unless it finds by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e., more likely than not) that a child would be seriously endangered. Proponents of the bill say that the involvement of each parent for equal parenting time is not only best for children but also fair to fathers, in particular, who traditionally receive less parenting time than mothers.

Opponents suggest that because of the uniqueness of each child and family situation, mandatory equal parenting time is a one size fits all approach that cannot serve the best interests of all children. Given the momentum of this legislation in Illinois and nationwide, parents can count on more to come during the next legislative session. (read more)