Tag Archives: Illinois family law attorney

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



Reasons Your Prenuptial Agreement May Be Invalid

invalid, DuPage County family law attorneyPrenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, are tremendously valuable legal tools that help couples planning to marry protect their assets and plan for their future. Although they have gotten a bad reputation due to outrageous celebrity marriages, prenuptial agreements can be useful to anyone getting married. Unfortunately, some people think that they have signed a legally-binding prenuptial agreement only to find out it is unenforceable during a divorce. There are several ways a prenup can be considered invalid.

A Prenup Must Meet Certain Requirements to Be Legally-Enforceable

Sometimes in movies or television, a character will scribble a contract such a prenuptial agreement on something like a napkin and it is assumed to be legally binding. Although it can be a good plot point for a fictional story, in reality, the courts only recognize prenuptial agreements which are properly constructed and executed. A prenup must be written, signed, and agreed upon by both parties.

Instances in Which Courts May Disregard a Prenuptial Agreement

There are certain circumstances which can cause a prenuptial agreement to be thrown out by the court. A prenup may be considered invalid if one or both spouses:

  • Were pressured into signing the document: If a spouse or a spouse’s family coerces the other spouse to sign the prenuptial agreement against his or her will, it may be invalidated;
  • Did not read the contents of the agreement: If one or both spouses failed to fully reiew the contract before signing it, it could be considered invalid;
  • Did not have time to think about the contract: If a spouse presents the other with a prenuptial agreement the morning of their wedding, there is not sufficient time to review its provisions adequately. A prenuptial agreement signed in haste will probably be nullified;
  • Lied about assets, income, or debts: A prenuptial agreement which has inaccurate information will not be enforceable;
  • Failed to provide necessary information: A prenuptial agreement which is incomplete may not stand up in court; or
  • Included unconscionable provisions: In order to be considered valid, a contract cannot have grossly unfair or unethical provisions. A prenuptial agreement which gives all of the marital assets to one spouse and all the debts to the other spouse, for example, would probably be set aside.

Experienced Attorneys for Premarital Agreements

Some states actually require engaged couples creating a prenuptial agreement to seek advice from separate and independent counsel. Although Illinois does not require couples to meet with an attorney, most experts agree that it is a good idea anyway. To schedule a consultation with a qualified Wheaton family law attorney from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002 today.





Parenting Time and Child Support for Incarcerated Parents

parenting time, DuPage County family law attorneyIn Illinois, it is very unusual for a family court to deny visitation to a parent entirely, even if that parent has legal problems. The presumption that having both parents in a child’s life is accorded a place of paramount importance by family court judges, and as such, it is becoming more and more common for visitation schedules to be worked out with incarcerated parents. While it is possible for your parenting time rights to be denied or terminated if you are incarcerated, it is also common to still be awarded at least some time with your children.

If You Are Incarcerated During Divorce

One of the most important things to be aware of is that if you are incarcerated before your divorce, your spouse automatically gains primary responsibility for your children unless there is a pressing reason not to follow this pattern. In other words, Illinois courts recognize a rebuttable presumption that an incarcerated parent will not be the more fit of the two. If you are able to demonstrate why your spouse should not necessarily have the majority of the parenting time, you may be able to obtain shared parental responsibilities but you must show that you can make decisions for your child.

If you are not awarded parenting time, or if you are only given a minimum amount, it is also very difficult to change the situation once you are released. Two years must pass, in most cases, before parenting time arrangements may be altered, and after those two years, you must be able to prove that it is demonstrably in the child’s best interest that the parenting time arrangement can be changed.

If You Are Incarcerated After Divorce

If your divorce finalized before your incarceration, your parental or visitation rights are easier to suspend. Illinois courts’ primary consideration is the best interests of the child, and depending on the crime you have been convicted of, it is easy for your spouse to file for a change in parenting time and allege that your children may experience negative effects from you being in their lives. If your spouse does not file, however, your parenting time may not change, unless you have been convicted of a violent felony.

One particular concern that may affect you is the matter of child support. Under current Illinois law, parents with no income—included those who are incarcerated—may have a “zero dollar” child support order entered for the duration of their incarceration.

Seek Experienced Legal Assistance

If you are concerned about losing your visitation rights or falling behind in your support obligations due to a possible prison sentence, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation at any of our convenient office locations.