When parents get divorced, their children’s best interests and well-being are paramount when determining an appropriate allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. In many cases, protecting a child’s best interests means ensuring that they can spend significant time with both parents after the divorce. However, there are situations in which restricting parenting time is necessary to ensure a child’s safety.
In Illinois, it is fairly common for a parenting time schedule to allocate more time to one parent than the other, whether because the parents agree to this arrangement or the court determines that it best meets the children’s needs. However, a parenting time restriction is a much more serious matter, and it is only ordered by the court when there is sufficient evidence that a parent has endangered a child’s physical or mental health or development. In some cases, a restriction will reduce or even eliminate a parent’s allocated parenting time, but other options are available to the court depending on the circumstances.
The appropriate restriction measures often depend on the reason why the restrictions are necessary. For example:
Suppose a parent has a history of domestic abuse. In that case, they may be ordered to complete an abuse treatment program, and any visitation with their children may need to be supervised or take place in a protected setting.
If a romantic partner or another person in a parent’s life endangers a child, the court may order that this person cannot be present during parenting time.
If a parent has attempted to abduct their child or withhold the child from the other parent, they may be ordered to post bond before their scheduled parenting time.
Other common restrictions include limitations on a parent’s communication with their child and the requirement of an intermediary to assist with exchanges of the child between parents. In some cases, parenting time restrictions are part of an initial order allocating parental responsibilities. However, evidence of endangerment may also arise after the order has already been established. In this case, a parent can petition the court to modify the order to include the restrictions necessary to keep the child safe.
If you have concerns about your child’s safety with their other parent, you need an attorney who can help you raise your concerns with the court and present the evidence necessary to demonstrate that parenting time restrictions are warranted. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we will do everything in our power to help you protect your children’s interests. Contact our Lombard family law attorneys at 630-932-9100 to request a free consultation today.
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