A bill is currently being debated by Illinois lawmakers that would give parents who are divorcing equal time raising their children.

The bill, sponsored by State Representative Lashawn Ford, has already passed committee, and is still being debated, according to wgntv.com. Illinois is not the only state considering adopting some sort of co-parenting plan like this.

As a father who had to fight for equal time in a nearly two-year long divorce, this makes me happy and sad at the same time. While critics will say that this bill strips away protection from controlling or abusive spouses, I believe it's the exact opposite.

Sometimes the controlling spouse is the one keeping parenting time unbalanced. In my situation, since mediation didn't help us make a 50/50 parenting time decision, the court ordered a guardian ad litem (GAL) be used. A GAL is a guardian appointed by the court to act on behalf of a minor. By this time we'd been in the divorce 'process' for 19 months. The first thing the GAL said to me was how sorry they were that, for over a year and a half, I'd been given the kind of parenting time they'd recommend for someone who was an abusive parent. After so many nights of lost sleep and tears over being apart from my daughter, I felt vindicated. And quickly, equal parenting time was instated.

This bill would've provided my daughter equal time with her father from the very beginning and would also have been a lot less expensive.

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