Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Study shows time divorced dads in Illinois spend with kids

One of the most contentious parts of any divorce involves allocating how much time each parent spends with any children they share. Both parents need to play a role in the development of their children, but a recent study shows that divorced fathers in Illinois spend far less time with their kids compared to fathers in other states. 

The Daily Journal reported on a study about how much time dads spend with their kids, on average, in each state. Illinois had one of the lowest scores in the entire country. The study found that on average dads in Illinois without any kind of criminal history saw their children roughly 23.1 percent of the year. The only states that scored lower were Tennessee, Oklahoma and Mississippi. This means that the average divorced dad in Illinois spends about 80 days out of the year seeing his kids. 

Many states have an even 50/50 split

One interesting aspect of the study involved 20 states tying for first place. In these states, fathers see their kids 50 percent of the time. One reason for this is that many states abide by a 50/50 custody law. Many states, such as Missouri, have laws that state children of divorced parent will split time with each one right down the middle. Naturally, exceptions are possible based on factors at home that would necessitate a different arrangement.

Could the law change in Illinois?

An "equal parenting time" law has come up before. It is important to remember that an even 50/50 split is absolutely possible for couples divorcing in the state, particularly if they set up an agreement on their own before they go to court. However, as the laws stand now, the judge in a case simply has more freedom to determine a more specialized schedule depending on the child's needs and abilities of the parents. There are advocates on both sides of the matter.

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