HB5425 Parenting Time and the Judiciary Committee

Illinois is one step closer to defining a more proper definition of the "Best Interest of Chilren" as one where both patents have equal time with their children. Please read her update on HB54265 which goes before the House Judiciary Commmitee March 20th.

Paul DiBianca
Warren, NJ
✉ parentalrightspreservationnjl.com
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From: "Ferrer, Robert H" <r-ferrer>
Date: March 14, 2014 at 4:36:13 PM CDT

Subject: RE: HB5425 and the Judiciary Committee

Dear Group:

I contacted each member of the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB5425. This is basically what I told them:

It is well understood that the driving factor informing Illinois statutes on custody and visitation is the best interest of the child. The pertinent question for us is whether or not “Best Interest of Child” is fully realized with current practice? HB5425 addresses the issue in the area of parenting time or visitation.

The statutes call for reasonable visitation. The Illinois Supreme Court defined a reasonable visitation schedule as one that will preserve and foster the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent (Collingbourne, 2003). Does current practice realize the intent of statute as defined by the Illinois Supreme Court?

From a review of the studies performed over the last 30 years it is generally agreed by researchers that parenting time based on current standard visitation schedules are typically insufficient to achieve desired benefits of contact. So, how much parenting time is necessary or sufficient to achieve any benefits from contact with the non-custodial parent?

A statement was made that summarized the consensus of 18 expert researchers:

To maintain high-quality relationships with their children, parents need to have sufficiently extensive and regular interactions with them. Time distribution arrangements that ensure the involvement of both parents in important aspects of their children’s everyday lives and routines – including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, extracurricular and recreational activities — are likely to keep nonresidential parents playing psychologically important and central roles in the lives of their children (Lamb M. S., 1997).

Experts are saying that we must get away from typical contact arrangements as characterized by a sampling of Illinois legal websites and the Protocols or Rules of Court from various jurisdictions. Parenting time must extend to times other than weekends, holidays and vacations. It must include significant time during the regular school week.

Parental involvement in providing direct caretaking has significantly increased over the last decade. A growing consensus among researchers suggests that to maintain roughly the same proportion of parenting time, an annual average of 120 overnights should be awarded to non-custodial parents with school-age children; roughly one-third parenting time (Fabricius, Braver, Diaz & Schenck, 2009; Emery, 2007). Professor Richard Warshak and 110 of his eminent colleagues worldwide have recently reported in a comprehensive review of the social science literature, when parenting time drops below that 35% threshold, the benefits of parental contact to children start to diminish (Warshak, 2014).

HB5425 requires parents to file a parenting plan with the family court within 90 days of the divorce filing. If the parents don’t do so, the judge would be required to issue a parenting order. A carefully crafted parenting plan providing the non-custodial parent ample age-appropriate parenting time as suggested by HB5425 offers many benefits in addition to greater engagement of non-custodial parents in their children’s lives:

· Encourage greater payment of child support (Amato, Meyers & Emery, 2009).

· Promote the development of a secure attachment between the child and both parents for very young children as advocated by child development experts (Lamb, 2005)

· Support the maintenance of the attachment between child and both parents for older children.

· Minimize the potential for conflict by the reduction of transitions between parents for older children (Kelly, 2005).

A parenting plan or order can be fashioned that fosters meaningful contact between the non-custodial parent and the child. In this iterative process of refining Illinois statutes we hope to reach the goal of truly realizing the Best Interest of Child.

I encourage you to support HB5425 at the upcoming House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for March 20, 2014 starting at 8:30AM CDT.

Best,

Robert

From: AirborneNurse [mailto:nurserichardthomas]

The most IMPORTANT Bill in over a decade for non-custodial parent – HB5425 (Minimum Parenting Time and Parenting Plans) has moved forward to the House Judiciary Committee for hearing on March 20th, 2014…8:30am Springfield.

Democracy is in your hands now. Will the children of Illinois have the right to BOTH their parents?…ONLY IF you show up or call. How will our "representatives" say no to a child who holding up a sign that says, "I love BOTH Mommy and Daddy"…? They may very well vote no if you don’t bring your children to the Capitol to hold that sign on March 20th. All Illinois students should be at the Capitol next Thursday…that’s where the real learning is going to take place.

This is the BILL the ISBA hates and has been attempting to sabotage (Because HB5425 will take custody fights out of the process. Remember, fights mean lawyers get rich. They want fights over your children.). But thanks to all your calls in the last 2 weeks (and I am told there were lots), HB5425 today left the Rules Committee today and will be before the Judiciary Committee at 8:30 AM, on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

We NEED as many people as possible in Springfield. Call in sick. Arrange car pools. Beg, borrow or "steal," but get to Springfield. The children of Illinois need your brother, your mother, your preacher, your teacher, your mail person, your butcher(sans cleaver), everyone you know to be in Springfield March 20th. You don’t have to speak, we got people to do that. If you cannot go, chip in $20 (or any amount you can) or whatever to those who want to go – remember, many of our advocates are dead broke fighting in the court system to just get minimum time with their kids.

But there is still much work to be done. You NEED to CALL every member of the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to support HB5425. Tell them to co-sponsor HB5425 by signing the yellow form co-sponsor sheet TODAY. If they waiver or seem to be against it, ask them what their reservations are AND EMAIL THOSE CONCERNS TO NurseRichardThomas.gmail.com. Be firm. Do not take no for an answer. Have every friend and family member call. All those grandparents out there need to call the other grandparents to have all grandparents call. If you live out of State, you may still have an interest in this Bill. (Lots of grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., live out of State and they are affected by the stupidity of the current practice in family court.)

Please forward this email to as many as possible.

Here is the link to the Judiciary Committee. Click on it. Click on every member. Call. Hunt them down…friendly but firm. http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?committeeID=1192

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