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Parents could get help in custody cases

Update: 10:42 pm, 3/22/14, Saturday ILLINOIS -- When a couple gets divorced, the dispute over who gets the kids and when, can turn ugly.
Update: 10:42 pm, 3/22/14, Saturday
ILLINOIS -- When a couple gets divorced, the dispute over who gets the kids and when, can turn ugly. But, there's a plan to make it easier on the children and their parents like. WCIA-3's Alex Davis finds out how a measure could help mend broken homes.

Gwendolyn Chubb says she hasn't seen her kids in years.

"No one should ever go through this type of pain."

She lost custody to her ex-husband. And, because of that, she doesn't have visitation rights; no relationships.

"I wake up in the morning and I say, 'Lord, let this be the day I get my children back, or the day that someone kills me.' And that's no way for anyone to live."

A bill in the Illinois Senate could alter the custody battle in court, though. It would create new parameters for judges, calling for equal time or no less than 35 percent to be given to each parent.

"Because I don't want another mother, father, uncle, grandmother, no one should ever go through this type of pain."

A pain that Representative Raymond Poe (R) says leaves both emotional and financial scars on families.

"There's a lot of legal fees being paid when they go back and forth and sometimes they can't afford it."

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say this bill could help mend these broken relationships.

"This could help out, but I think, the underlying factor is we got to remember it's still up to the judge if there's some other reasons, if there has to be supervised visits and those things."

Right now, the court determines what's in the best interest of the child and who gets full custody or if joint custody is best. That would continue under this law if a judge finds a parent unsuitable. Under this bill, if parents can agree to a parenting plan, the courts may not need to step in.
Original: 3:57 pm, 3/19/14, Wednesday
ILLINOIS -- When a couple gets divorced, the dispute over who gets the kids and when, can get ugly. But, there's a plan in the works to make it easier on kids.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree it's important for children to have both parents active in their lives. That's what the bill calls for. It would create new parameters for the courts to make parenting more balanced; giving equal time to each parent, or no less than 35% of the time for one parent each week.

Advocates say sometimes mothers and fathers accuse one another of things which aren't true, just to gain the upper-hand. But, this change, they claim, would level the playing field.

Currently, the court determines what's in the best interest of the child and who gets full custody, or if joint custody is best. That would continue under this law if a judge finds a parent unsuitable.

Under the bill, if parents can agree to a parenting plan, the courts may not need to step in.
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