Illiniois dads hold ‘Fatherless Day’ protest outside courthouse

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, June 23, 2016.

With Father’s Day taking place last Sunday, we hope that most dads in Illinois enjoyed spending time with their children. However, many fathers do not get to see their kids as often as they would like, because their former spouse has sole physical custody.

Usually, the noncustodial parent in these situations gets visitation time reserved. But visitation can be quite limited, perhaps just a couple weekends per month — or less. For their part, many fathers say they do not get fair consideration in Illinois’ Family Court system, and lost shared or sole custody rights because of bias against men.

To protest this perceived prejudice, the group Illinois for Parental Equality spent June 17 “celebrating” Fatherless Day. Divorced fathers rallied in front of the Lake County Courthouse in northern Illinois to protest what they call unfair treatment that is depriving them of a meaningful relationship with their children.

Are groups like this one correct? A Chicago Tribune article about the Fatherless Day protest is somewhat confusing about how many American children live without their father. It quotes two different statistics suggesting that either 27.5 percent of 33.3 percent of kids’ primary household does not include their dad.

Whichever number is closest to the truth, it is a much higher rate than in the 1960s, when divorce was much more rare and difficult to obtain. However, the figure has remained steady for at least five years.

In most cases, it may be possible for divorcing parents to negotiate a parenting plan that allows them to share child custody. And when it isn’t, in court you can make your case why your plan is best for your children’s well-being. The right family law attorney will be able to help you in both scenarios.

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