Category Archives: Children of Divorce

When Is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton-supervised-parenting-time-lawyerDuring and after a divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows both parents to have reasonable parenting time with their child. In some situations, if a parent is worried about his or her child’s physical or mental well-being when spending time with the other parent, he or she can request a hearing to ask for supervised visits. The parent requesting this supervision needs to show evidence to support this request. If you are ordered to have supervised parenting time with your child, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Factors that May Require Supervision

Many factors are considered when deciding if parenting time will be supervised or not. In general, Illinois courts prefer to promote a healthy parent-child relationship, even during disputes over parental responsibilities (child custody). For a parent to have supervised parenting time, the court must consider the child to be in serious danger if he or she were to be left alone for a period of time with that parent. The court also has the right to modify an existing parenting time order if needed.
If two ex-spouses have an argument, or if one parent does not like the other parent’s new partner, that typically does not qualify as seriously endangering the child mentally, physically, or emotionally. On the other hand, if the other parent (or his or her new love interest) is physically or verbally abusive to the child, that is grounds for seeking supervised parenting time. In some cases involving domestic abuse to the other parent or the child, the court may issue an order of protection to limit or restrict an allegedly abusive parent’s access to the child entirely.
If one parent is diagnosed as mentally ill or is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol, those would be valid reasons for supervised parenting time. After a certain amount of time, supervised parenting time orders can be reviewed to determine if they should be reversed or modified. This could happen in cases where an alcoholic parent becomes sober, or if they are under the care of a physician and are seeking treatment or therapy for a mental disorder.

Who Can Supervise Parenting Time?

Once supervised parenting time is ordered, the court can appoint another family member, a friend, or a third party to supervise the visits between a parent and child. Supervised parenting time centers can provide a neutral meeting place where trained staff or social workers can observe the visits. In most scenarios, there is no fee for low-income families to attend these centers.
In Illinois, courts can place other types of restrictions on parenting time if they determine it is necessary or in the best interest of the child, including specifying certain locations for visits,  denying parenting time when the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or restricting overnight parenting time.
Normally, only parents have a legal right to parenting time. In certain situations, however,  grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can request a visitation order from the court if they so choose.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult in many ways. If certain events lead to you being required to have supervised parenting time with your child, you should speak to a diligent Wheaton family law attorney. We can review your case to determine if the order can be reversed or modified. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.



How Can I Set Rules For Raising My Children After My Divorce?

Wheaton parenting plan attorneyThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for children under two years old, and it encourages “consistent limits” on screen time for children six years old and older. However, the average child between the ages of 8 and 18 spends seven hours a day in front of a screen, and too much screen time can be detrimental to children’s physical health, development, and motor skills. As a parent, you only want the very best for your child, and you may choose to set limits on their screen time in order to ensure their health and well-being. But what if your ex-spouse does not agree with these or other rules?

It can be extremely difficult for a divorced parent to deal with a former partner who, in their opinion, does not have the best interests of their child in mind and demonstrates this by allowing their child to spend unlimited time watching TV or bent over a smartphone. Parents may be able to address these concerns during divorce and in the years after by creating a parenting plan that works for the children first and the parents second, with a focus on open communication and compromise between the parents.

Addressing Different Parenting Styles

Divorced parents may have different parenting styles, and this should not necessarily be seen as a negative. In fact, it is a great asset for children to have both a mother and a father actively involved in their lives, and this is something that should be preserved unless there is serious reason to believe that one parent is negligent or abusive.

Unfortunately, it is common for parents to disagree on certain things, such as bedtimes, curfews, the types of food served, and technology use, including cell phones, TV time, and video games. To ensure consistency, a parenting plan can put a structure in place that provides for children’s best interests, ensures that children’s needs will be met, and provides parents with some reassurance that their children will be cared for correctly. It can also address how parents can resolve disagreements that may arise regarding the decisions they make when raising their children.

What Rules Should Be Set in a Parenting Plan?

It is important to pick one’s battles wisely when creating rules for your children that you want to be enforced at the other parent’s house. Typically, you can take one of two approaches. The first is to include specific rules within the parenting plan that both parents must agree upon. This is only a good option if both parents can compromise or want the same things for their children. This method may be beneficial if a parent is concerned about specific matters, such as the methods of discipline, the need for children to complete homework on time, or the diets children should follow.

The second option is for each parent to keep their own set of rules at their respective houses. This requires a certain level of trust between parents, but it can be beneficial for children, since they will eventually learn the rules at each home and adjust accordingly, falling into a predictable routine and feeling at ease no matter which house they are in. This method helps avoid unnecessary conflict and arguments between parents.

A Wheaton Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Ultimately, a combination of the two approaches to setting rules may be best. Parents may be able to agree on certain rules that will be followed while trusting each other to meet their children’s needs and provide for their best interests. A skilled attorney can help you create a fair parenting plan that addresses your concerns and your children’s unique circumstances. If necessary, an attorney can assist with modifying your parenting plan to meet your children’s changing needs. Contact the dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.


How Are Child Custody Disputes Handled in a Same-Sex Divorce?

Wheaton same sex divorce lawyerAround 16 percent of same-sex couples who live in the same household are raising children together, according to The Williams Institute. In addition, adoption by same-sex couples has nearly doubled since the early 2000s. Many of these couples face difficult circumstances when their relationships fall apart or their marriages end in divorce. In these cases, child custody disputes can be complicated, highly emotional events that often leave one or both parties unhappy when the final decision is made by a judge. These situations can particularly complex when one parent is the biological parent of the child and the other is not.

When the Child Is Adopted, and Both Spouses Are Legal Parents

When a same-sex couple adopts a child together, and each spouse is a legal parent, decisions about child custody will be resolved in the same manner as if both parents were biological parents. If the couple cannot come to an agreement out of court, a judge will make a decision in favor of the child’s best interests. Deciding factors include the parenting abilities of each party, the emotional bond that each parent has with the child, the child’s preference if they are old enough, the financial ability of each parent to provide for the child, the work schedule and career demands of each parent, and much more.

What if Only One Spouse Is a Legal Parent?

In some same-sex relationships, only one spouse or partner may be the legal parent for a variety of reasons. In these cases, it can be difficult for the other parent to receive any custody or visitation rights. A spouse who is not a child’s legal parent may need to prove their relationship with the child and demonstrate their intent to raise the child to the court.

When or Both Parties Are the Biological Parent of the Child

In some same-sex marriages and relationships, one spouse has a biological child or multiple children from a previous marriage that they bring into the relationship. Their same-sex partner may become a legal guardian of the child or children, or they may adopt a child as a step-parent. While a biological parent will often retain the majority of the parenting time in these cases, the other parent will have the right to share in decision-making responsibility and parenting time.

If one parent’s sperm or one parent’s fertilized egg is used to create the child during the relationship with their spouse, things may become less straightforward. This is particularly true if in-vitro fertilization is used, and the fertilized egg of Spouse A is implanted into the uterus of Spouse B. In these cases, it is important to receive assistance from a skilled attorney who can help ensure that parental rights are protected.

A DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer Can Help

For same-sex partners who are going through a divorce or breakup, it is important to work closely with an experienced attorney who can ensure that you will be able to maintain a relationship with your children. Call the dedicated Wheaton family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.