Illinois lawmakers have proposed a bill that would change child custody battles if the child was a result of a rape. Lawmakers say that the bill would keep alleged rapists from seeking child custody and also keep the alleged rapist out of the child’s life.
The proposed bill would allow women who are able to show that they were raped to limit the father’s ability to seek child custody or visitation rights of the child conceived through sexual abuse or assault, even if the man is not criminally convicted of the crime.
Lawmakers proposed the bill to help mothers keep alleged rapists from seeking custody or visitation of their child. Under current Illinois law, women are only able to try and restrict a father’s custody and visitation rights if the father was convicted of raping the victim.
Supporters of the bill say that in some child custody cases that involve an alleged rapist, the father tries to use his child custody rights as a way to get the woman to drop the rape charges, often saying that he will file for child custody or visitation if she presses charges.
If the proposed bill is passed, child custody and visitation disputes and orders would change in Illinois as fathers would not have to have to be criminally convicted of rape to have their custody right’s restricted. Instead, if a woman can prove that her child was a result of rape, the father would not have the right to seek custody or visitation.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Bill Would Help Women Avoid Custody Battles With Alleged Rapists,” Bernie Tafoya, April 11, 2013