Tag Archives: Illinois 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



House Bill Poised to Change Visitation Rules

child custody, visitation, divorce, family law, Wheaton divorce lawyer, Illinois family lawerA new bill currently making its way through the Illinois legislature could have a big impact on how judges assign visitation rights. The bill, HB 5425, recently made its way out of committee and is now headed to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives for debate. At present the bill’s chances of passing are still unclear. Its sponsor has agreed to refrain from calling for a vote in light of a family law overhaul bill that has been waiting for a vote since 2012, but that may change if the omnibus bill stalls for much longer.

 The Bill’s Provisions

 If HB 5425 does make it into law, it could have a profound effect on the way judges handle visitation for non-custodial parents. The first portion of the bill gives parents a 90-day window to produce their own, mutually-agreeable parenting plan. If the parents cannot agree, then the bill gives the court the power to make visitation decisions.

The legislators developed the bill with the view that it was important to foster strong relationships between parents and children. To that end, it creates presumption that children are best served by spending equal time with both of their parents. Because it is just a presumption, the parents are both allowed to introduce evidence to try to show that equal time is not in the best interests of the child’s “physical, mental, moral, and emotional health.” If one of the parents can prove that by “clear and convincing evidence,” then the court is allowed to place restrictions on the parenting time. However, the bill appears to place a mandatory floor of no less than 35 percent of parenting time to the non-custodial parent.

 Opposition to the Bill

 The bill has also generated opposition from some parts of the state government. People are concerned about both the presumption that equal time is best for the child and the 35 percent floor for non-custodial parenting time. They feel that a child custody decision is a fact-intensive inquiry that benefits from strong scrutiny on a case-by-case basis, and that a formulaic set of rules is not the best way to make those decisions.

Proponents of the bill, including some therapists, respond to that criticism by pointing out that the adversarial process that makes up the current court system is not the best way of deciding child custody issues, and that the conflict can cause children emotional distress. They believe that if this bill becomes law, it can reduce that problem by streamlining the divorce process and making it more collaborative rather than confrontational.

 With law surrounding divorce and child custody constantly changing, it is important to find an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer to help you receive the most up to date consultation on your family law issues.

Techniques for Coping with the Stress of Divorce

divorce stress, life after divorce, coping with divorce, Illinois divorce attorney, Wheaton IllinoisOne of the hardest parts about going through a divorce is handling the daily stress that comes with it. While many people think of stress as a purely mental issue, it can also cause physical health problems. One divorce counselor has even compiled a Divorce-Stress scale to help people assess specific risk factors.

Of course, staying in an unhealthy marriage can also cause significant stress, so often people’s best option can be to move forward with a divorce and learn to manage the stress associated with it. Some of the best strategies include reaching out to a support network, staying active, and seeking help from a therapist.

Find a Support Network

Using a support network is one of the best ways for someone to cope with the stress of a divorce. This is because many of the difficult emotions that arise from a divorce relate to the loss of a partner. This means that divorce can lead to a strong sense of loneliness, unless you make a conscious effort to maintain or rebuild relationships with friends and family. This can both help to reduce any possible feelings of isolation, and also provide an outlet to help you discuss other problems that could be causing stress. Similarly, many areas have divorce support groups that meet regularly to help people in similar situations find others who understand what they are going through.

Stay Active

Staying active is another great way to help reduce stress. Physical activity can help reduce tension and anxiety in addition to its other health benefits.

However, staying active can mean more than just developing a workout routine. Activities beyond exercise can also help improve people’s moods and happiness. Many people find developing a new hobby or rekindling an old one can keep themselves grounded and help them begin to adjust to their new lives. The new interest can also help function as another social outlet to boost your support network.

Speak with a Therapist

Another method of decreasing stress can be to seek help from a professional counselor or therapist. Divorces can be overwhelming, and involve losing a close companion. For many people, that means that they no longer have someone to help them talk through any emotional issues that they might be facing. A therapist can help fill that gap. Having someone to talk to can help you put things in perspective, and work through some of the more difficult emotional troubles of a divorce that you may not feel comfortable sharing with friends or family.

Even though divorce can be stressful in the short-term, it may the best way to secure happiness in the long-term. If you would like to seek a divorce, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer whose experience and understanding can help make the process go as smoothly as possible.