Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, October 25, 2013

Family Law Changes That Won't Help

As a member of the Illinois Bar, I read its magazine, which has a current article about the effort to overhaul family law in Illinois. I'd like to share some of the ideas promoted for change in family law. Some critics are already saying that the proposals may cause more problems than they solve, and I think that's true.

For example, the bill would create a person called an "equitable parent." That's a person other a child's biological or adoptive parents whom some judge would give legal standing to petition the court for custody rights. This is just one more example that government busybodies think they should have the power to make decisions rather than a kid's own parents. The article even admits that this equitable parent notion could be subject to abuse. This could create a situation where parents might think they have to change the daycare provider every year so she won't get the idea that some court could make the daycare provider the equitable parent.

What about the kids in a military family? We certainly don't want our soldiers fighting overseas to worry that, in their absence, some judge will make some other person the equitable parent of his children.

The proposed bill would drastically change the divorce law to eliminate all grounds for divorce other than irreconcilable differences, and would repeal the mandatory six-month waiting period.

Here's another change that ought to be debated. It would adopt a statutory presumption that it is in a child's best interests to spend at least 35% of residential parenting time with each of his parents. 35% would certainly be an improvement for the fathers who are given zero residential time with their own children. But again the law assumes that a judge has the final say, not parents.

Yes, family laws would be reexamined and revised, but they need to start with the assumption that a child's two biological or legally adoptive parents have the sayso unless there is proof of fault.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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