Can My Ex Restrict My Parenting Time?
If you are involved in a contentious child custody battle, or if your ex is threatening to ask the court to modify a parenting plan or allocation judgment in order to restrict your parenting time, you are likely very concerned about whether this is a possibility. There are many different reasons that one parent might like to restrict the parenting time of the other parent. Sometimes a desire to restrict parenting time arises out of very legitimate concerns about the child’s safety or well-being.
At other times, a parent might try to restrict parenting time simply because she or he does not like the other parent’s approach to caretaking or does not approve of the parent’s lifestyle choices. It is important to know that, if your ex is threatening to restrict parenting time, such restrictions only occur in limited circumstances under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).
If your ex is threatening to attempt to restrict parenting time, you should get in touch with one of our Oakbrook Terrace child custody lawyers as soon as possible. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about parenting time restrictions and why they happen under Illinois law.
When is a Parenting Time Restriction Appropriate?
The IMDMA explains that a “restriction of parenting time” is defined as “any limitation or condition placed on parenting time, including supervision.” Under the IMDMA, the courts begin from a presumption that “both parents are fit” for parenting time, and the court will not place any restrictions on parenting time unless it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a parent’s exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.
You might be thinking that some of these categories of endangerment are more subjective than others. For example, while it may be easier to determine whether the child’s physical or mental health is being endangered with assessment from a pediatrician or a child psychologist, the category of a child’s “moral health” may be more subjective and complicated. Generally speaking, however, since the court begins from the presumption that both parents are fit, the parent must engage in behaviors or actions that the court views as endangering the child’s moral health. In other words, the parent’s conduct would need to show the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct was endangering the child’s health in some capacity. A mere difference in opinion between the parents about politics or certain subjective lifestyle choices will not result in a restriction of parenting time.
Factors a Court Considers in Determining Whether to Restrict Parenting Time
In determining whether to restrict parenting time, the court must consider whether any of the following factors are an issue in the case under the IMDMA:
- Abuse, neglect, or child abandonment
- How abuse (or allowing abuse by another person) impacted the child
- Use of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that interfere with the parent’s ability to perform caretaking functions
- Persistent interference with the other parent’s access to the child
What are some of the types of parental conduct that may result in a restriction of parenting time? Examples may include but are not limited to:
- Substance abuse problems
- Physical or mental abuse
- Violent behavior
- Criminal activity
Contact a Family Law Attorney in DuPage County
Our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys routinely assist the Muslim community with a wide variety of family law matters, including the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Contact Farooqi and Husain Law Office online today or call us at 630-909-9114.