Tag Archives: DuPage County family law 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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K603.10.htmhttps://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/making-most-supervised-visitation

 

Disestablishing Paternity in Illinois Family Law Cases

Wheaton paternity lawyerBecoming a parent is one of the many significant milestones in life. It is a chance for you to pass on your knowledge and your legacy to the next generation. As we quickly discover, that legacy is well-earned through the many responsibilities we undertake as parents. We must make an enormous amount of decisions and sacrifices for our children, including providing for their medical care and education, as well as the financial costs required to provide them with an acceptable standard of living.

Unfortunately, information sometimes emerges that paternity is no longer certain, and a parent may be providing for a child who belongs to someone else. This emotionally charged situation happens more than you might guess. For this reason, there is a set legal procedure for disestablishing paternity, which effectively severs the obligation to pay child support or other financial requirements in the future.

If You Are Not the Presumed Father or Have Not Signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP)

If you are married to a child’s mother at the conception or birth of the child, Illinois acknowledges you as the presumed father, making you the legal father of the child in question. If you were not married to the mother at that time and have not signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form, it is possible to disestablish paternity by completing a Petition to Establish the Non-Existence of a Parent-Child Relationship.

If You Completed a VAP Within the Last 60 Days

The VAP is a legal document offered at the hospital to unwed parents to streamline the process of establishing paternity. It is also available at the county clerk’s office, the Department of Human Services, or at a child support office. If you and the mother completed this form within the last 60 days, you may file a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, have it witnessed, and send it to the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS).

If You Are a Presumed Father or the VAP is Older Than 60 Days

It can be challenging to disestablish parentage once it has been legally established. If you can prove that you signed a VAP under duress or threat or due to a mistake of fact or fraud, a judge may grant the disestablishment. A presumed father may also be able to disestablish paternity if DNA testing shows that they are not the child’s biological father.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

An experienced DuPage County paternity lawyer can help build a case to sever the legal responsibilities you have to a child when you are not their biological parent. Even if you and the mother make a verbal agreement, if you do not complete the necessary court procedures to disestablish paternity, you may be held financially accountable later in life. The attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you take steps to protect yourself and your future. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your complimentary, confidential consultation.

Sources:

http://aaml.org/sites/default/files/MAT103_3.pdf

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/Paternity.aspx

Why Was a Guardian ad Litem Appointed to Our Case?

guardian ad litem, Wheaton family law attorneysWhen you are involved in a dispute over parental responsibilities or other concerns related to your children, it can be difficult to maintain objectivity, especially if the relationship between you and the other party is not ideal. Divorce situations are especially prone to acrimony and contentiousness, and unfortunately, the best interests of the child can be somewhat lost among the myriad of other considerations. A court-appointed attorney known as a guardian ad litem, however, can help refocus the proceedings on the child’s well-being, thanks to provisions offered by Illinois law.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

Unlike other types of guardianship, such as those covered by the Illinois Probate Act, which provide far-reaching authority over another person’s interests for an indefinite period of time, the guardian ad litem, or GAL, is appointed for the specified proceeding. In fact, the Latin phrase “ad litem” translates to English as “for the suit.” While GALs may serve similar purposes in other areas of law, they are most commonly utilized in family law situations on behalf of a child’s interests. In Illinois, a GAL is required to be a licensed attorney, properly trained and qualified to serve in such a capacity.

The Duties of the Guardian ad Litem

The most important thing for parents to keep in mind when a guardian ad litem has been appointed to their case is that the GAL works as extension of the court. He or she has no interest in who “wins” or “loses,” but is instead focused on determining the outcome that would best serve the child. The GAL is required to conduct an investigation into the child’s living and family situation to identify best practices and area of concern. In doing so, he or she may interview the child, parents, and other relevant family members or individuals, review previous court proceedings, and observe the child’s home, school and community environments.

Based on the results of the investigation, the GAL utilizes his or her training and experience to develop a best-case recommendation regarding the outcome of the case. The recommendation is provided to the court as expert witness testimony, either in writing or in person, and is subject to cross-examination according to the rules of court procedure. The court is expected to give substantial weight to the GAL’s findings, as it is presumed that the GAL will have reasonably considered all relevant factors.

Protecting the Interests of Children

If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about the well-being of your child, we can help you petition the court to appoint a guardian ad litem. Contact a knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorney today for more information on meeting your child’s needs throughout the process. Call 630-971-1002 for a free consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+XI&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=12100000&SeqEnd=14300000

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/guardian_ad_litem

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K506