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New Illinois laws may help divorcing parents with child care

Photo of Karen Lavin

Divorce is always a complicated process, even in the rare occasions when it is not a particularly unpleasant event. The end of a marriage can be a relief for both parties or a contentious debate in which people disagree about the assets and property they should possess as individuals after a divorce.

The most important asset of a marriage is, of course, the children born to the parents before the divorce. As such, they can often be the most contentious part of a divorce. Family courts in Illinois have been established to advocate for the best interests of children in the rare case that parents are unable or unwilling to do it themselves.

A new Illinois law that went into effect with the beginning of 2018 goes further in ensuring the rights and safety of children in the care of people other than their parents, which may apply during divorce proceedings.

House Bill 3542 guarantees that a child shall be placed in the most family-like setting available and in close proximity to his or her parents' home. This new law is designed to create consistency with the child's health, safety, best interests and special needs.

Another new Illinois law, House Bill 2388, will create a searchable database of day care homes and centers that have had licenses revoked, as well as the status of application for renewal. This may help newly single parents who have new needs caring for children with reduced coordination with their former spouses.

Legal representation during the divorce process may help parents sort out new arrangements for child custody, child care and other important elements of a happy childhood after such a major life event.

Source: WGN, "New Illinois laws going into effect in 2018," Jan. 01, 2018

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