Tag Archives: family law

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

 

Am I Entitled to Benefits If I Have a Civil Union in Illinois?

Wheaton cohabitation agreement attorneyA civil union is a legally recognized arrangement that may be used by a same-sex or opposite-sex couple, with rights similar to those of marriage. Couples may opt to be in a civil union temporarily until they get married, or for the rest of their lives. Illinois passed a law that officially recognized civil unions in 2011. Although not legally married, people in civil unions are entitled to many of the same benefits as married couples, which could include insurance coverage, survivorship, hospital visitation, and more. Civil unions were more common in the time period before gay marriage was legalized. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court removed all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalizing it in all 50 states.

Rights to Benefits for a Civil Union Partner

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Ilinois, and it is often the best method for couples to receive the benefits that come with being in a committed relationship. However, some couples may not want to marry for various reasons. For example, if they were previously married and went through a bitter divorce, they may not wish to experience that again. Divorces can devastate family members emotionally and financially, especially if one spouse loses custody of a child or is forced to file for bankruptcy. A person may choose to remain unmarried in order to avoid repeating this situation.

Often referred to as “domestic partnerships,” civil unions are a type of relationship that grants limited rights to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples who cohabitate but who are not married. Civil union partners are eligible for the same coverage options as a spouse, so they will be able to join their partner’s health, dental, and life insurance plans. The children of a civil union partner are also entitled to the same coverage.

Under Illinois law, the recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships allows unmarried couples to include both of their names on legal documents, such as mortgages, titles, wills, and more. In order to receive additional protection, partners may wish to create a cohabitation agreement, which is essentially a contract between the couple that can address a variety of issues, such as how to divide assets if the relationship ends. This type of agreement can provide certain rights, such as ensuring that each person receives an equal share of the property owned by the couple in the event they go their separate ways. It is important to note that a cohabitation agreement cannot specify the terms of child support or parenting time; those have to be decided by a court.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Two people who are in a loving relationship may decide to live together but choose not to get married for various reasons. A civil union can include some of the same benefits given to married spouses. If you are considering entering into this type of arrangement, Andrew Cores Family Law Group will help you and your partner understand the legal aspects of this type of agreement and your rights to property in case of a breakup. Call a Wheaton civil union lawyer at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/civil-unions-and-domestic-partnership-statutes.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/stateemployee/documents/domestic_partner_and_civil_union_partner_faqs.pdf

https://www.vvsd.org/cms/lib/IL01905528/Centricity/Domain/80/Insurance/Health/civil_union_faq.pdf

https://www.cnn.com/2013/05/28/us/same-sex-marriage-fast-facts/index.html

 

What if a Parent Blocks a Grandparent’s Visitation With Grandchildren?

Wheaton grandparents' rights attorneyGrandparents provide a wealth of loving care and family traditions to the younger generation, and most grandchildren will remember the time with their grandfathers and grandmothers well into their own adulthood. Grandparents add value to the lives of young children in immeasurable ways. Unfortunately, old feuds can get in the way of grandparents’ visitation rights, especially when the parents of the children separate or get divorced. In many cases, a child’s parent may disallow visitation with their ex-spouse’s parents, though it is sometimes a grandparent’s own children that disallow them from seeing their young loved ones.

What Steps Can I Take as Grandparent?

In Illinois, grandparents can petition the court to secure visitation rights with grandchildren. However, a grandparent must show that by not seeing their grandparents, the child is being harmed. As such, “the burden is on the party filing a petition” to prove that the parent’s decision about visitation will “cause undue harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health,” according to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/602.9. A grandmother or grandfather must show that the time spent with them has a positive impact on their grandchild’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Having a close relationship with a grandparent benefits children’s well-being; previous research has shown that these types of relationships can reduce depressive symptoms in both the grandparents and the grandchild. If this is so widely known, and many studies have come to the same conclusion, does that mean that a court will simply accept a grandparent’s and child’s mutual wishes to continue spending time with one another? Sadly, the situation is more complex than this.

The Court’s Considerations

When making decisions about whether grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interests, the court will use the following factors to make a decision about grandparent visitation:

  • The wishes of the child.
  • The length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.
  • The good faith of the grandparent and the good faith of the parent denying visitation access.
  • The quantity of visitation time requested.
  • Any potential adverse effects that visitation could have.
  • Factors that reveal the effects the loss of the grandparent/grandchild relationship would have on the child.
  • Whether or not the visitation can be structured in a manner to avoid conflict between the adult parties.

Call an Experienced DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Today

The emotional bond between a grandparent and a grandchild should never be broken because of a parent’s vengeful mindset. Our dedicated Wheaton family law attorneys can help reunite grandparents with their grandchildren by petitioning for visitation rights. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/09/06/close-relationship-with-grandparents-benefits-grandchildren/