On January 1st, New Year’s Day, a bevy of new laws took effect in Illinois. Amongst these are some that will sound a titanic shift from the status quo currently in place. Marijuana will be prescribed to certain patients. Hand-held cell phone use will be illegal while driving. And two new laws will significantly affect divorced parents.
Right of First Refusal for Non-Custodial Parents
Under the new law to take effect in the New Year, if a child is to be placed in the care of someone who is not the custodial parent for a significant amount of time, a parent who has visitation or partial custodial rights in the child must be given the first opportunity to supervise the child. This is called the right of first refusal, and it is a law that fathers’ rights advocates have vociferously fought for. Violation of this will constitute interference with visitation rights, and can be punishable by the court in various ways. This new law accurately reflects the public policy in Illinois. Written into the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is the congressional intent that a child should be raised with the presence and cooperation of both parents. Under the current scheme, a custodial parent can entreat anyone to act as babysitter. Now, both parents, regardless of their indifference or animosity toward each other, can take a larger role in the upbringing of their shared child.
No More Body Attachment Orders for Unpaid Child Support
A civil court judge’s power is potentially vast. Their ability to control the course of motions and trials in their courtroom extends beyond the walls of the courthouse. The contempt power gives the judge the power to fine, penalize, dismiss the claims of, and even imprison those who disobey their orders. This power has limits, of course. And, as of January 1st, one of those limits is the arrest and detention of those who are delinquent in their child support payments. There are ways that child support payments can be enforced, and an experienced and educated Illinois family law attorney can explain these methods. However, the judge now has one less tool to help beleaguered parents who need their support to raise their child.
Contact an Illinois Family Law attorney
The new laws will go into effect in a few weeks, and their reach could potentially affect you or your family. A DuPage County family lawyer can help use these laws to work for you. Contact a family lawyer today.