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When Can Parenting Time Be Restricted in Illinois Family Law Cases?

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Illinois Family Law

DuPage County Family Law AttorneyParenting time is a crucial aspect of many divorce and family law cases in Illinois. In most cases, parents will be able to share child custody, and both parents will have the right to spend reasonable amounts of parenting time with their children. This can help parents and children maintain healthy relationships while also ensuring that children's needs will be met at all times. However, in some circumstances, restrictions on parenting time may be appropriate. By understanding the situations in which parenting time may be restricted and the types of restrictions that may be put in place, parents can determine the best approach to take as they address child custody issues.

Reasons for Parenting Time Restrictions

In general, parenting time may be restricted under Illinois law if a court determines that the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health could be endangered when they are in the care of a parent. Some issues that may be raised when determining whether to put restrictions in place include:

  • Domestic violence - If a parent has been convicted of any offenses involving violence or abuse against members of their family or others who have lived in their household, this may be a reason to restrict their parenting time. Even if a conviction has not occurred, evidence that physical, verbal, or sexual abuse has taken place during a couple's marriage or at any time in the past may show that children's safety and well-being could be at risk. If a person has experienced domestic abuse by a spouse or partner, or if a parent has engaged in abusive behavior against a child, steps may need to be taken to prevent further acts of violence or abuse, such as obtaining an order of protection.

  • Substance abuse - If a parent has a history of drug or alcohol addiction, this may be a significant concern when determining parenting time arrangements. Substance abuse can put children at risk in many ways, including when a parent may potentially drive while intoxicated, neglect children due to substance use, or allow children to use alcohol or drugs. A parent with a history of substance abuse may need to show that they are receiving treatment and abstaining from using drugs or alcohol during their parenting time.

  • Children’s needs - There are some situations where children may have extraordinary needs due to health issues or disabilities. The court may consider whether a parent is able to provide the necessary care for a child. If a parent does not have the proper facilities in their home, is unable or unwilling to meet a child's special dietary needs, or cannot provide medical care when required, their parenting time may be limited or restricted.

  • Parental alienation - Interference by one parent with the other parent's parenting time or their relationship with their children may be a reason to put parenting time restrictions in place. If a parent refuses to allow the other parent to have access to the children, does not pick up or drop off children when required, or consistently attempts to damage or destroy the relationship between the other parent and the children, they may face penalties that could include restrictions on their own parenting time.

Parenting Time Restrictions That May Be Used

Depending on the circumstances of a case, the court may put a number of different restrictions in place. If safety is a concern, such as in cases involving domestic violence, parenting time may be supervised by a third party. In cases involving substance abuse, a parent may be prohibited from using alcohol or drugs during or immediately before their scheduled parenting time. To prevent issues related to parental interference, parents may be required to pick up and drop off children in neutral locations or through third parties. Any other measures that are believed to be necessary to protect the best interests of the children may also be implemented.

Contact Our DuPage County Parenting Time Attorneys

Parenting time is a sensitive issue that requires careful consideration from both parents and the court. If you are going through a divorce or need to address issues related to child custody, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance and support during your case. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, our Oakbrook Terrace child custody lawyers can help you understand how to address parenting time restrictions, and we will work with you to find solutions that will provide for your children's best interests. Contact our firm at 630-909-9114 to arrange a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.



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