Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce attorneys

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.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000



Understanding Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities

responsibilities, Wheaton family law attorneyOne of the most challenging aspects of being a divorced or unmarried parent is the idea of sharing parental duties with your former partner. Each person often has an idea of how a should be raised, and these ideas may vary—even when both parents are reasonable and have good intentions. Conflicting parenting ideas can lead to confusion and uncertainty on the part of the child, so it is important for parents to cooperate in creating a parenting plan that lays out each parent’s role in regard to making significant decisions that affect the child.

Defining Significant Decisions

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), significant decisions include those related to “issues of long-term importance in the life of the child.” The IMDMA offers several examples of concerns that are considered to be significant decisions, including:

  • The child’s education, including the choice of school and tutors;
  • Health and medical care, including physical and mental health care and choice of doctors;
  • Religious upbringing, if appropriate, based on the wishes of the parent and past conduct regarding matters of faith or worship; and
  • Extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports, activities, music lessons, and others.

Depending your circumstances, other issues may be considered significant as well.

Decision-Making Authority

In your parenting plan, you and the other parent must decide who will be responsible for significant decision-making. If you cannot reach an agreement, the court may step in and allocate the responsibilities based on your child’s best interest. You and the other parent could choose to make all significant decisions together. Similarly, you could also agree that each decision should be discussed between you with one of you retaining final decision-making authority in case of an impasse.

Another option would be for each of you to take on the responsibility for a different significant area. If one parent is a teacher, for example, that parent could take care of  educational decisions while the other parent handles health care decisions. The last option is to give all significant decision-making authority to one parent alone, who could choose to seek the other parent’s input if he or she wishes.

The Effect on Parenting Time

It is important to remember that significant decision-making responsibilities and each parent’s parenting time are separate issues. While one may affect the other to a certain extent, the amount of parenting time that a parent has does not automatically mean that he or she has an equal amount of decision-making authority. It is possible for parents to share parenting time almost equally while all significant decisions are made by one parent. On the other hand, one parent may have substantially more or less parenting time but equal responsibility for significant decisions.

Call Us for Help

If you have questions about your parenting plan and significant decision-making responsibilities, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today and get the answers you need.




Spousal Support for Stay-at-Home Parents After Divorce

support, Wheaton divorce lawyersWhile times have changed and there is no longer a cultural expectation for a parent—usually a mother—to sacrifice their career and stay home to raise a couple’s children, many couples choose such an arrangement. A stay-at-home parent plays a very important, and often underestimated, role in not only the lives of the children but in the running of the household as well. A divorce, however, can have a significant impact on a stay-at-home parent, as the parent may face serious financial concerns. If you are a stay-at-home parent facing the possibility of a divorce, there are some options that could help minimize the impact of the split.

Maintenance Laws in Illinois

The primary method of helping stay-at-home parents after divorce is called “maintenance” in Illinois law. Also known as alimony or spousal support, maintenance refers to payments made by one spouse to the other following a divorce. Under Illinois law, maintenance is not automatic and it is only awarded when the parties agree to it or the court determines that a need for it exists. You being a stay-at-home parent might be a major consideration, but there are other factors that the court must take into account as well, including:

  • Your contributions to the overall well-being of the family, including those you made as a stay-at-home parent and homemaker;
  • The extent to which you sacrificed your career;
  • Your ability to generate income after the divorce, and whether doing so is appropriate in light of your child custody arrangements;
  • The length of your marriage and the lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage; and
  • Whether you received a larger portion of the marital property instead of continuing maintenance payments.

Putting the Pieces Together

There are many different reasons and ways to arrange a stay-at-home parenting situation. How and why you set yours up will be looked at by the court when determining whether to award maintenance. For example, if you were married for about five years and you just recently left your job to care for your first child, spousal support could be possible, but it is not guaranteed. On the other hand, if you got married right out of high school and stayed home for 20 years to raise your children while your spouse progressed quickly through the ranks in his career, your case for maintenance payments would be much stronger.

Contact Us for Help

There are many factors and variables that lead a couple to choose a stay-at-home parenting situation, and every one of them could affect the court’s decision regarding maintenance. If you are facing a divorce and are uncertain about your future, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.