Tag Archives: DuPage County divorce lawyer

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



Post-Divorce Decree Modifications

order modification, Wheaton family law attorneyGenerally speaking, when a divorce decree is final, it can no longer be modified. However, when a significant change occurs in one of the parties’ lives, a decree can be adapted to fit that new reality. Protocol must be followed, but with help, a decree can be changed to suit life as it changes.

When Is Modification Appropriate?

It is sometimes difficult to determine when a life change has been dramatic enough to mandate modification of a divorce decree. The unspoken rule is that whenever the amount of people, time and/or money changes in your life, it is grounds for change. Some examples of these situations would:

  • One party to the divorce becoming disabled permanently or for the foreseeable future;
  • One party receiving a promotion/higher salary at work;
  • One party remarrying and/or having more children;
  • One party wishing to move to another state; or
  • The child requiring more or less medical care than he or she did at the time of the divorce.

Any or all of these might conceivably convince a judge to approve a modification of your divorce order. You or your former spouse may need a child support adjustment or a change to the parenting time schedule, either of which would directly impact the life of your child or children. The court will always do its best to rule in the child’s best interest.

Important Considerations

While most modification requests are made in good faith and granted by the court, some actions will immediately disqualify a person from being able to modify an order, especially regarding maintenance payments or child custody. For example, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states clearly that if a spouse engages in cohabitation on a “resident, continuing, conjugal basis” before divorce, he or she loses the right to receive maintenance. The rationale is that if he or she is living with someone else, he or she does not need his or her former spouse’s money. If that cohabitation arrangement subsequently falls apart, a modification to add maintenance will not be considered.

You should also be aware that in Illinois, if your modification request is found to be fraudulent or “vexatious,” as the law characterizes it, you may be liable for the other party’s attorney fees as punishment of sorts. The court does not take wastes of its time lightly.

Contact an Order Divorce Modification Attorney

If you are unsure whether or not you have experienced a sufficient change in your life to request modification of your divorce, it is be best to consult a professional. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney for a full case analysis today.




Mediation in Divorce Proceedings in Illinois

mediation, DuPage County divorce attorneysMany Illinois couples choose to utilize the mediation process to come to an agreement during divorce proceedings. In some cases, the court may actually mandate that a couple spends time with a neutral mediator before asking the court to ultimately decide the terms of a divorce. No matter the reason for choosing mediation, there are many benefits, though mediation is not appropriate under all circumstances.

Your divorce attorney in the Wheaton area can help you weigh your options when deciding how best to proceed with your divorce dispute resolution.

Mediation Advantages

There are numerous advantages to selecting mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution, including:

  • Time and cost-effectiveness – Mediation is typically faster and less expensive than the drawn-out court proceedings;
  • Tailored to your needs – Parties have a hand in creating the agreement;
  • Flexibility – Parties can create or select from a broader range of solutions than the judge’s, more generic standard plans;
  • Opportunity to be fully heard – Each party has more opportunities to voice questions and concerns;
  • Less adversarial and rigid – Parties can make changes and revisions during problem-solving;
  • Less formal – Parties need not follow as many procedural rules when presenting their positions; and
  • More agreeable settlements – Parties typically report greater satisfaction with mediation results than court-ordered plans.

Mediation is Not Always Appropriate

Mediation is not appropriate for every couple going through divorce proceedings. In some instances, a stricter and more formal proceeding before the court is the right choice. Mediation is not always the best option when:

  • Either party cannot be trusted to act in good faith;
  • One party needs to compel disclosure of information from the other party;
  • Abuse has occurred or is alleged, whether physical, sexual, financial, or other;
  • The relationship is too acrimonious, and parties cannot interact with each other; and/or
  • Parties possess extremely disparate levels of power, control or sophistication, whether financially or otherwise.

Consult an Experienced Mediation Divorce Attorney in Wheaton

A compassionate divorce attorney at our law firm can help you decide which dispute resolution format is right for your family, given your specific circumstances. Your divorce lawyer will consider the goals you have in mind for your division of marital assets, parenting time plan, spousal support, and other issues related to your divorce.

He or she will also take into account whether your spouse has a history of abusive behavior or hiding assets, whether your family would benefit from creative or flexible solutions and problem-solving that might be considered “outside the box,” and whether time and cost are largely important factors in resolving your divorce.

Do not hesitate to contact our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys today. We are eager to assist you with your case.