According to a new study, divorced fathers in Illinois spend less time with their children than fathers in just about any other state – but there is proposed legislation that may change that.
How much time do divorced fathers get to spend with their children?
The time a divorced father gets to spend with his children varies from state to state. The study shows that approximately forty percent of states have a 50/50 custody sharing arrangement (but not necessarily a law), so both parents get to spend equal amounts of time with their children.
That leaves sixty percent of states where fathers see their children less than fifty percent of the time. Of those states, Alabama ranks the highest in father custody time at thirty-three percent. Tennessee ranks the lowest at twenty-eight percent. And Illinois ranks fourth lowest, with fathers spending just over twenty-three percent of the time with their children.
New law could mean more family time for divorced dads
More and more states are considering changing their child custody laws to the 50/50 custody sharing format. Last year alone, more than 20 states looked at changing their custody law, and Kentucky recently became the first state to sign in to law a bill that made 50/50 shared custody the “legal presumption.”
Illinois could be the next state to adopt the shared custody model. Illinois House Bill 4113 was introduced in the House in October of 2017. If it passes fathers in Illinois could be spending almost twice as much time with their children as they currently do.
Spending equal time with both parents leads to better-adjusted children
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, children who spend equal time with both parents are better emotionally adjusted, possibly due to less conflict between the parents and better relationships with both parents.
If you live in Illinois and are a divorced father, get ready – you may soon be spending a lot more time with your children.