Tag Archives: parenting time

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



Tips for How to Negotiate a Parenting Plan

DuPage County Divorce LawyerOne of the main priorities of any divorcing parent is to figure out how to create a parenting plan that best supports the child’s development and allows each parent sufficient time and input in the child’s life. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these agreements because the needs of each child and the circumstances of each family differ.

The most important aspect of any parenting plan is that it includes terms the parents can follow without constant conflict. This is often easier said than done due to the strong emotions involved after divorce. The court expects parents to make a genuine attempt to settle matters on their own, and while a family law judge must approve any plan, the specifics should be worked out between the parents. Courts do not have the capacity to fully analyze and understand the unique dynamics of a family, so any parenting plan created by a judge will be somewhat standard and generic as a result. This risks future litigation to enforce or modify the parenting agreement, a situation that is detrimental to the child’s well-being.

Parenting Plan Checklist

The main issues parents negotiating a parenting plan must settle are how to allocate parenting time and decision-making authority. Custody and visitation are no longer the standards in child-related matters, and the law is more focused on creating an arrangement that allows for a more collaborative approach to co-parenting.

Parenting time refers to how often a parent provides childcare. It must be established how key decisions related to the child will be made, such as school enrollment, medical treatment, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. How much time a child is in a parent’s care will depend on the child’s age and the circumstances of the family. Some children will spend a roughly equal amount of time with each parent, while others will primarily live with one and see the other on scheduled days. These two areas cover the minimum that must be addressed in a parenting plan.

Creating Effective Parenting Plans

In addition to the issues mentioned above, another important aspect is a plan for resolving disputes. This allows for easier review and modifications to the plan over time. To better supplement the basic structure, a holiday, birthday, and vacation schedule should be developed. Other potential issues to address include the amount of time the child is permitted to watch television or be on the computer, the age at which the child should receive a cell phone, and how parents will handle disciplinary issues. Finally, provisions related to the introduction of a parent’s new romantic partner to the child is another possible consideration.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney

Parenting issues are often a source of bitter disagreement, but if these matters are decided in advance through a parenting plan, conflict can be avoided. These agreements are complicated and must be approved by a judge before they become enforceable. For skilled assistance, trust the dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group when drafting or modifying a parenting plan. Our years of experience will help you develop the best possible plan for your child. Contact us today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.




Successful Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

DuPage County parenting time lawyer holiday seasonDealing with divorce and separation can be tricky around the holidays, especially when children are involved. Kids may focus on their memories of Christmases past and struggle with their emotions as they adjust to the way their lives have changed this year. Rather than allowing the holiday season to become filled with anger, resentment, sadness, and stress, it is your duty as a parent to generate excitement for this season, giving the gift of joy to both your children, and even to your ex, by creating a parenting time arrangement that works for everyone.

Here are a couple of tips for making that possible:

Do Not Make Children Choose

You and your spouse may disagree about who gets to have parenting time on Christmas Day. Perhaps you cannot come to a civil agreement, because the holiday is equally important to each of you. Whatever you do, do not put the burden of choice on your children. Holiday parenting schedules should be outlined in your parenting time agreement to avoid any confusion.

Your children have bravely endured the changes that come with their parents’ separation, and the last thing that they will want is to choose between the two people they love most in the world. Even if they do have a preference, they may feel uneasy about disclosing their choice, because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Parents should work to create a holiday parenting time arrangement and make sure children understand how time will be divided between parents.

One example of a co-parenting holiday arrangement is: one parent gets to spend time with the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, while the other parent has the kids during the evening for a family Christmas dinner. In some cases, parents may be able to put aside their differences aside for the sake of the kids and enjoy the day together. The latter option should only be considered if you and your ex can be civil for extended periods.

Begin New Traditions

In the past, your kids may have received holiday pajamas on Christmas Eve and enjoyed hot chocolate and candy canes, followed by family photos of everyone wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Day. Attempting to recreate these types of family traditions after your separation without the participation of the other parent can result in confusion and difficult emotions for children. To avoid this, you should try to get creative as you forge new holiday memories. This year, come up with new traditions, such as dressing in your pajamas and going caroling, reading by the fireplace, or watching holiday movies with some popcorn.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are currently going through a separation or divorce and are having trouble determining a parenting agreement that works for both you and your ex-spouse, a Wheaton divorce lawyer can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we have helped many families reach agreements that work for their situation, and we can do the same for you. Schedule your free initial consultation by calling our office at 630-871-1002.