Tag Archives: Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

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



Understanding the Best Interest of the Child Standard

best interest, DuPage County family law attorneyMost states, including Illinois, consider the best interest of the child as the primary factor in deciding matters related to the child or children in divorce proceedings, child custody cases, child support, and even paternity. But, what is actually considered to be the best interest of the child can vary from state to state. If you are involved in a divorce, custody fight, or other legal matter involving your child or children, our firm’s experienced family law attorneys can help you. We can assist you in determining what the best interests of your child may be, what factors the court will consider in making decisions related to your child, and how best to demonstrate to the court what you believe is in your child’s best interest.

What Factors Will the Court Consider when Deciding Best Interest of a Child in Illinois?

Unlike some states, Illinois law is fairly specific when it comes to stating the factors considered in deciding a child’s best interest. The law sets forth more than a dozen factors to examine, including:

  • The wishes of the child, if appropriate given age and maturity;
  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The amount of caretaking functions each parent has provided the child within the past two years or since the child’s birth;
  • The child’s relationship with family members, including parents, siblings, step-parents, grandparents, and any other person substantially involved in the child’s life;
  • The child’s adjustment and attachment to his or her home, community, and school, including the child’s extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports, and religious involvement;
  • The health of everyone involved, both physical and mental;
  • The needs of the child and the ability and willingness of each parent to meet those needs, and to place those needs as priority over their own wants and needs;
  • The logistics and costs involved in transporting the child between residences;
  • Whether abuse of any kind, or physical violence occurred between a parent and anyone else in the child’s household;
  • Whether the parents are willing and able to facilitate and encourage a “close and continuing” relationship with the child’s other parent, and not to disparage each other;
  • Whether either parent, or anyone in their household, is a convicted sex offender;
  • If a parent is in the military and deployed, what the terms of their military family-care plan entail; and
  • Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney in DuPage County to Discuss your Child’s Best Interest

Even with all the specificity in the guidelines provided in the Illinois statute, it is so important to work with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney with our law firm who can fight to protect your rights as a parent and your child’s or children’s best interests. Reach out to us today for help.




Irreconcilable Differences: The Only Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

irreconcilable differences, Wheaton family law attorneyPrior to 2016, there were several reasons that someone could cite in filing for divorce. Adultery, physical abuse, and mental cruelty, among others, were all grounds for divorce. However, after looking at divorce statistics in the state of Illinois over the course of several years, the Illinois legislature found that the vast majority of couples sought divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences. So, as part of the sweeping changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that went into effect earlier this year, irreconcilable differences are now the only permissible grounds for divorce in the state.

Irreconcilable Differences and a Faster Turnaround for Illinois Divorces

As a practical matter, the switch to irreconcilable differences as the sole grounds for divorce has little effect on how divorces are handled. Illinois has long been a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that even if a wife alleged adultery against her husband, it did not entitle her to more property or spousal support under the law. If anything, only recognizing irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce now streamlines the process.

There is also no requirement that the couple explain what exactly the irreconcilable differences between them are. Irreconcilable differences could include arguing, differences in how to raise children, or the couple simply living apart for too long. If it is unlikely or impractical for the couple to continue to attempt to resolve their dispute, then irreconcilable differences exist.

No More Mandatory Separation

Previously, a couple citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for a divorce had to live apart for two years before a court would grant a divorce. In certain cases, the couple could waive this requirement, and a divorce would be granted after living apart for six months. Under the new law, a couple must only live apart for six months before a divorce is entered on the grounds of irreconcilable differences if the couple is not in agreement about the divorce. A couple in agreement can obtain a divorce with no separation period.

If the couple has lived apart for at least six months, and the couple does not dispute that at least six months has passed, then the presumption is that irreconcilable differences exist. Neither party can introduce evidence to argue otherwise. If you and your spouse have not lived apart for six months, you can still file for divorce. As long as the other party does not contest the divorce, a court may still grant a divorce decree even though less time has passed. You can also file for divorce and then begin living separately. Once six months have passed, your spouse will have no grounds to contest that irreconcilable differences exist.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone’s life. No one goes into a marriage expecting to get a divorce, and it can be difficult to put feelings toward the other person aside even if the marriage lasted only a short time. That’s why it’s so important to work with a divorce attorney familiar with the law and procedures of the Illinois judicial system. Contact our office today to talk with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney about your case.