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Author Topic: A Time For Change - IL Family Law Study Committee  (Read 4513 times)


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A Time For Change - IL Family Law Study Committee
« on: Mar 23, 2009, 11:55:16 PM »

On behalf of the Children's Rights Council of Illinois, I testified on January 26 of this year to the Illinois Family Law Study Committee.  The sub-title of my testimony was "A Time for Change".  We also provided the Committee with a lengthy recommendations report written by another CRC-IL Director.

We were the sole Illinois advocacy group for non-custodial parents to have been given the opportunity to testify to the Illinois Family Law Study Committee, so we felt we needed to focus on a single item that would be both compelling and yet inclusive of the primary desire of children of non-custodial parents:  The need to change Illinois' long-standing reluctance to award anything more than "every other weekend" overnights with their non-custodial dads and moms.  This judicial reluctance has made "every other weekend" a child-unfriendly de facto standard in Illinois that we believe damages children.   We attacked this protocol head on with social science research, not empty rhetoric, to best defend non-custodial parents who are attempting to do what's best for their children in Illinois courts.

We hope our testimony faithfully represented the views and needs of many of you on this site.  Other advocates were in the audience that day, including from Illinois Fathers, and we were able to share the construct of our CRC-IL Shared Parenting Initiative and the critical need to adopt "Minimum Parenting Guidelines" for Illinois, as in other states that now routinely award reasonable parenting time.

You may be interested in knowing that our not-for-profit corporation is the Illinois Chapter of the national Children’s Rights Council in Washington and that we focus specifically on creating greater inclusion of both parents for children of divorce.   We have a statewide network and have facilitated local area support meetings where noncustodial parents can discuss issues and share Best Parenting Practices.

We have built up a substantial collection of technical information, case histories, and research studies that others can use to help themselves do the best they can to improve their role as divorced/separated parents.

Regarding Illinois family law, in addition to our current recommendations directly to the Study Committee, we also served on an Illinois state bar association subcommittee throughout 2007 and 2008.  We continue to share our proposals with judges, attorneys, GALs, and provide them, along with state legislators, up to date information on the parenting impact of various policies.

We already have a Shared Parenting Initiative underway in Illinois and we are seeking more supporters.   If you are an activist with non-custodial parents, please check out our website and drop us a line. If you are facing challenges of non-custodial parenting, consider joining our Parenting Network by clicking on our website's homepage link.

The Children’s Rights Council of Illinois


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