When Can Parenting Time Be Restricted in Illinois?
There is arguably no relationship more sacred than the one between a parent and child. For children, solid, loving relationships with their parents are crucial for their healthy development and well-being. Because of this, many states, including Illinois, have placed a specific emphasis on allocating parenting time to both parents of a child, rather than solely to one parent. While it may not always be a 50/50 split, most custody cases involve both parents having parenting time with their children, and it is typically in the child’s best interests to spend substantial time with both parents. However, there may be cases in which the court finds that it is necessary to place restrictions on parenting time.
When Are Parenting Time Restrictions Appropriate?
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) specifically states that both of a child’s legal parents are presumed to be fit to care for their child, and in the vast majority of cases, the court will not restrict or limit parenting time. When children are involved in a divorce or a parental dispute, the duty of the judge and the court is to ensure the child is being taken care of adequately. If the court finds that the physical, emotional, or mental well-being of the child would be seriously endangered by allowing a parent to exercise parenting time, the judge can restrict parenting time for that parent.
How Can Parenting Time Be Restricted?
Before it is determined that a parenting time restriction is in the best interest of the child, a hearing will be held. During such a hearing, the court will do its best to investigate the situation and determine if spending time with the parent in question would truly endanger the child. The court will examine issues such as each parent’s work schedules, living arrangements, and any history of domestic violence, mental health issues, or substance abuse.
Parenting time restrictions can affect the type of parenting time, the duration of parenting time, and the supervision required during visits. Restrictions of parenting time may include limitations such as:
- Supervision during visits by the other parent or an appointed third party
- A prohibition against overnight visits
- Visits that only take place in the home of the parent with the majority of the parenting time
- Parenting time that only takes place in a location other than the restricted parent’s home
- A prohibition of any and all parenting time
The restrictions in your case will be based on your unique circumstances.
Contact a Kane County Parental Responsibilities Lawyer
At MKFM Law, we understand how important it is to do what is best for your child. In some cases, that might include restricting the parenting time of the other parent to ensure your child’s safety. In other cases, you may need to fight for the parenting time that you know your child deserves to have with you. If you are dealing with any issues related to parenting time, you need help from a knowledgeable and compassionate St. Charles family law attorney. Call 630-665-7300 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.