970 McHenry Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC

Call Today for Your FREE Consultation

Call Us800-338-3833 | 815-338-3838

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Illinois Fathers Near Bottom Nationally in Parenting Time

Posted on in Family Law

Illinois Fathers Near Bottom Nationally in Parenting TimeFathers’ rights advocates and some Illinois lawmakers are pushing for 50-50 parenting time to become the default when parents divorce or separate. Illinois law currently presumes that it is in a child’s best interest to spend a majority of the time with one parent unless proven otherwise. Fathers claim that this puts them at a disadvantage in receiving parenting time because mothers are more likely to have a majority of parenting time. A recent study by the child custody scheduling service Custody X Change seems to support the argument. The results ranked Illinois fathers as having one of the lowest percentages of parenting time amongst all of the U.S. states.

Study Findings

Custody X Change surveyed family law attorneys in the most populous county in each state to determine what the most common parenting plan is for that state. Researchers used cases with no extenuating circumstances, such as a long distance between the parents or legal limitations on parental rights. The study concluded that:

  • Illinois parents who have a minority of the parenting time have a 23.1 percent share of the parenting time on average, which ranks Illinois as 47th;
  • The national average is 35 percent, with the top-ranked state having a 50-percent share and the bottom-ranked state having a 21.8 percent share; and
  • Twenty states tied for first place because a 50-50 division of parenting time is the most common schedule.


Fathers’ rights advocates in Illinois may use this study as evidence that Illinois is lagging behind other states in allowing them equal time with their children. The data suggest that Illinois fathers are struggling to reach even the traditional 70-30 division of parenting time. However, it is worth mentioning the limitations of this study:

  • Researchers used what attorneys told them is the most common parenting schedule, which does not represent all of the outcomes;
  • Researchers mostly talked to attorneys in Cook County, whose courts may differ from other counties;
  • The study assumes that the children are age 6 to 11, which is the age range in which courts are most likely to award an equal division of parenting time; and
  • The study seems to assume that fathers will always be the ones to receive less parenting time.

Your Parenting Plan

An Illinois family law court will allow you to have an equal division of parenting time if you can prove that it is in the best interest of your children. A McHenry County family law attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you determine which parenting schedule will be best for your children. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
Back to Top