If you have young children and are divorcing a spouse who abuses drugs or alcohol, Illinois law provides a process for restricting an individual’s parenting time and parental responsibilities. Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/603.10 calls for a court hearing at which attorneys from both sides may present evidence.
In preparation for this hearing, you want to work with a skilled family lawyer to compile as much documentation as possible. Write down everything you remember about specific incidents that demonstrate your spouse’s issues. You may ask friends and family to write down their recollections of specific instances as well. If your spouse has ever been arrested for DUI, drug possession, or disorderly conduct, those police reports can be used to prove your case. Medical records showing stints in rehab or even bank records displaying frequent liquor store purchases could be helpful as well.
If the court finds your spouse has “engaged in any conduct that seriously endangered the child’s mental, moral, or physical health or that significantly impaired the child’s emotional development,” the court may issue one or more orders that the judge deems necessary. In particular, the court will consider whether a parent has used “drugs, alcohol, or any other substance in a way that interferes with the parent’s ability to perform caretaking functions.”
These orders may include:
In making its determinations about a parenting plan, the court may interview the child in chambers with counsel present. The court may also seek the advice of professionals to interview the parents and children to assist the court in determining the best interests of the children. You and the child’s other parent may also hire your own evaluators.
If you are concerned about your children’s safety when they are in the care of their other parent, bring this to the attention of a skilled attorney and the court so it can be taken into account before your parenting plan is approved. An experienced Lombard, IL parenting time lawyer can help. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC at 630-932-9100 for a free initial consultation.
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