March 22, 2023
Determining parenting responsibilities is one of the most sensitive and potentially contentious issues in divorce proceedings. In the past, mothers were automatically favored, and courts were of the opinion that children were better off with them, especially when the children involved were young. This was referred to as the ‘tender years doctrine’ but is no longer legally relevant. Our Chicago child time-sharing lawyers explain more about mothers’ rights and how they impact today’s cases.
The tender years doctrine was a legal principle once widely embraced by the Illinois Court. It held that the best interests of children were generally served by placing them in the mother’s care, particularly if they were babies, toddlers, or otherwise young. As a result, many fathers felt that they were treated unfairly by the court, deprived of their rights during child custody proceedings, and prevented from forming close and loving bonds with their children.
Today, there is no longer the presumption that a child, specifically a young one, is better off in the mother’s care. The court now recognizes that it is actually in the best interests of children to have frequent and ongoing contact with both parents. As a result, the Illinois Code generally favors child time-sharing arrangements, which allow both to play an active and involved role in the child’s life.
Instead of awarding one parent custody and the other visitation, parenting plans are created and dictate parental rights and responsibilities. Areas generally addressed include:
In creating a parenting plan in Illinois today, there is no longer a legal presumption that children of any age are automatically better off with their mothers. While mothers’ rights are still important and protected, there are other factors the Illinois Family Court is likely to consider before putting a parenting plan and a child time-sharing order in place. These include:
In cases involving disputes between parents, there is no longer an automatic presumption that children are best off with their mothers. Instead, child time-sharing arrangements are generally negotiated. To protect your rights in these proceedings, get The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group on your side. Contact our Chicago child time-sharing lawyers and request a consultation to discuss the options in your case today.