Anderson & Boback Logo

Corporal Punishment in Illinois

Published
Categorized as Illinois Family Law

The issue of child discipline has been a hotly debated topic for centuries and varies in response depending on the person’s cultural background. In most cultures, spanking is an acceptable and encouraged form of discipline. The point of contention has been, however, the form and extent of the spanking.

Pursuant to Illinois law, it is considered child abuse if a parent inflicts “excessive corporal punishment” on his or her child. In other words, corporal punishment is allowed so long as it is not “excessive”. But what exactly qualifies as “excessive”? Corporal punishment could mean spanking, hitting, slapping, pinching and could range from a light spanking on the butt to severe whips across the back leaving visible marks. The standard by which a judge will rank the extent of corporal punishment is “reasonableness”. The problem with this standard, however, is that what may be reasonable in Chicago may not be reasonable in a small rural town in southern Illinois. There are differences even within Chicago depending on the person’s economic and cultural background. As such, how can one judge determine what standard is “reasonable” or “excessive”?

Although there are no direct answers within the law itself, there is case law that seems to hint that light spanking on the butt of a younger child leaving no marks and not done out of anger is acceptable, and any form of discipline that involves the use of a weapon, i.e. a belt, a spoon or a shoe, that leaves visible marks on the child’s body, is excessive. Within these two extremes you will see very different fact patterns that are hard to define exactly. The outcome will depend on the judge or jury’s background with defined notions of what kind of corporal punishment is acceptable, and your attorney’s ability to properly convey to the judge that the discipline either was or was not excessive.

If this is your situation or if you have any other questions regarding corporal punishment laws in Illinois, talk to an experienced attorney that can help.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

The attitudes of Illinois family law judges about how children should be raised, and their time divided between parents, have changed significantly over the last fifty years or so. Judges used to believe, and rule--almost universally--that children needed to spend…

Recently, the Illinois Appellate court addressed the issue of the date used in determining dissipation as raised by the divorce case In Re Marriage of Sinha. (In re MARRIAGE OF JYOTI SINHA and MUKESHA K. SINHA, 2021 IL App (2d)…

Oftentimes while a family law case is pending, parents will need or want to move with their minor children. The child relocation law in Illinois as of 2021 indicated that you need to seek approval for relocation from the Court…

In Illinois, we have abolished using the term “custody” and now refer to parenting time as the schedule which dictates where the child resides, and when.  Clients often ask whether or not it matters if the child has an opinion…

If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all of the issues of divorce, that is a great start to the process. In an uncontested divorce, once that agreement has been reached, or even before, the…

When parents end their relationship, it's rarely easy especially if there are disagreements over custody. As Chicago child custody attorneys, we're often asked for guidance on what you should bring up in a child custody case to show you are…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview
    ANDERSON & BOBACK

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870