Study Finds Parenting Time for Illinois Dads Among Least in the Country
Family and relationship experts have long known that children generally fare best after their parents’ divorce or separation when both parents continue to play an active role in the children’s lives. There are, of course, many ways for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, but most experts believe that time together is a vital part of doing so. In recent years, there has been a greater effort in many parts of the country to include fathers more in parenting arrangements following a divorce or separation, but change, it seems, has been slow in coming to Illinois.
In many situations, mothers are granted a majority of the parenting time with their children while fathers are forced to make do with less. A new study shows how much less, and the results are rather alarming.
Illinois Near the Bottom
The study was conducted by Custody X Change, a company that sells computer and smartphone software for divorced and separated parents. The company reportedly reached out to lawyers in all 50 states, making hundreds of phone calls and involving more than 1,000 emails. The lawyers were asked what the most common parenting arrangements were in their states. Based on the responses, Custody X Change calculated the amount of time the average parent in each state has with his or her children.
Encouragingly, twenty states reported that the average parent had half of the parenting time with their children. In the other 30 states, however, things were not so simple, and Illinois did not fare very well in the area of fathers’ rights. The study found that the average divorced or separated father only gets about 23.1 percent of the parenting time. This number makes Illinois the fourth-worst state in the country for fathers. Only dads in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee get less parenting time on average.
Ben Coltrin, Custody X Change’s co-founder and president, said the company conducted the study because such quantitative information simply was not available to most people. He also said that the results should encourage Illinois lawmakers to sit up and take notice of what is happening in the state. “I think it’s quite interesting for the Illinois legislature to look at,” he said. If neighboring states like Wisconsin and Missouri can offer fathers equal parenting time, Coltrin suggested, Illinois should be looking at them and asking, “Are we behind the times?”
Protecting Fathers’ Rights in Illinois
At The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, our experienced Geneva family law attorney can help you exercise your parental rights as a father. We will work with you in developing a parenting time schedule that allows you to play a major role in the life of your child. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule a confidential consultation today.