This bill has been drafted to fit into the new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that went into effect on Jan. 1st 2016.


This bill amends the IMDA to recognize that equal time with both parents is presumptively in the childs best interest and creates a higher standard of proof to restrict parenting time.


Without this language, the meaning of SB0057 takes a drastic change and moves away from a conciliatory bill designed to encourage co-parenting and the active involvement in development of a parenting plan and instead relies on an approximation model that will significantly increase litigation and create more hostility between divorcing parents. In turn the children will suffer even more than they do today.


Clear and convincing evidence is used throughout the bill except when it comes to restricting or terminating parenting time, and or rights and responsibilities.

  • When it comes to restricting or denying a child access to one parent it should be held to the highest evidence standard possible.

Clear and convincing evidence standard is used in four different sections of this bill.

pg.55 Sec. 503(b)(1)division of marital property,

pg.55 sec. 503(b)(2)division of pensions,

pg.58 sec. 502(b)(2)(a) division of estate,

pg.146 sec.603.10 (d)(2) modifying non-parental parenting time,

When restricting or terminating a bio-logical parents parenting time the bill uses by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a far less standard. In short the bill is using a higher standard of evidence to divide assets and remove visitation rights from non-parents than it is to restrict or terminate bio-logical parent’s rights to parenting time or vital records.


This bill started out from a joint, bipartisan coalition created by the Speaker of the House in 2008 to analyze and advise on the social and political dynamics of family law and how to revise to make Illinois a better state in line with those of other states. For over four years, we attended these committee meetings and worked with various key stake holders to help formulate key principles that reduce strife, increase parental participation, and simplify an already hostile and contentious process in our State.

Key provisions that resulted from the committee’s recommendations included: a minimum 35% visitation for the traditional non-custodial parent, mandatory parenting plans, and shared income models for child support that provide support to both households for the benefit of the children. The modifications of these original proposals have been modified to essential turn the hard work of this committee into what is called an Approximation Model for determining custody and visitation. Pay attention to the number attorney based organizations that support this bill as an Approximation Model means increased revenues to attorneys.

In theory, both litigants must now prove what level of parenting effort and how much time they spent in order to derive which parent will become the “primary responsible parent” and which parent will be the parent who will fill the traditional non-custodial parent role. In short, nothing changes from the existing process; it’s only amplified and broadened. Mandatory parenting plans have been gutted and may be as simple as one parent gets all the responsibilities, as determined by the Judge. Likewise, the language is sufficiently weak that parental rights can be terminated without any evidence beyond a simple preponderance suggesting that it would be in the children’s best interests to do so. Instead you have an even more incentivized fight to somehow prove you’re a parent in order to maintain an active role in your child’s lives. This will significantly increase litigation in Illinois.

During the 97th GA we reintroduced a bill that would replace the recommendations of the Family Law Study Committee in piece meal bill that would be enacted with the new IMDA. We passed out of committee with the bill but session ended before the bill was ever called to a vote on the floor. during the 98th GA we fought diligently to have this language included into the new IMDA that would ultimately pass and become law.



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