FAQ Wife: Can I Stop My Husband from Seeing My Children after a Divorce?
Filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace is never an easy decision, but divorces often become more difficult and contentious when there are children from the marriage. In many cases, we work with mothers who want to get divorced and have serious concerns about whether their current husbands will be able to see the children after a divorce. There are numerous reasons to want to prevent your husband from seeing your children after the divorce is finalized.
For example, maybe your husband has indicated a desire to turn your children against you or has made negative remarks about you to your children in the recent past. Or, for instance, perhaps you have concerns about your husband’s ability to provide a nurturing home due to his heavy work schedule and lack of interest in parenting throughout the marriage.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is a presumption that parents will share in both parental responsibilities and parenting time. We will say more about how these matters are involved in the question of whether you can stop your husband from seeing your children after a divorce, and what factors the court uses to make such decisions.
Understanding How Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time Determine Whether a Parent Spends Time with the Child After a Divorce
As you may know, Illinois law recently changed the way it deals with child custody and visitation. Under the old model, there were two kinds of custody: legal and physical custody. A parent could have joint or even sole legal custody but not have physical custody of the child. For purposes of spending time with the child after divorce, physical custody typically determined the time in which the parent provided caretaking functions. Visitation, as well, referred to the time spent between parent and child. Those terms have now changed. Rather than referring to custody at all, the IMDMA refers to the allocation of parental responsibilities.
Parental responsibilities include both important decision-making roles with regard to the child (formerly known as legal custody) and parenting time, which refers to providing caretaking functions for the child (formerly known as physical custody and visitation). As such, when you want to know if you can stop your husband from seeing your children after a divorce, you need to learn more about how the court will allocate parenting time.
Factors the Court Considers in Allocating Parenting Time
In most family law cases in DuPage County, unless there is a significant reason why the other parent should not see the children after a divorce — such as a history of domestic violence, a sex crimes conviction, or a general history of violence — the court typically will start from the premise that it is in the child’s best interest to spend at least some time with both parents after a divorce. The following are the statutory factors the court takes into account include but are not limited to:
- Wishes of the child;
- Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
- Mental and physical health of all the parties;
- Ability of parents to cooperate with one another;
- Level of each parent’s previous participation in making important decisions about the child;
- Prior agreement between the parents about parenting responsibilities;
- Wishes of the parents;
- Child’s needs; and
- Distances between parents’ residences.
While you may be able to limit the amount of time your children spend with the other parent, preventing the parent from seeing the child altogether will require that the courts find a reason for the “restriction of parental responsibilities.” Reasons for restrictions on parental responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Abuse, neglect, or abandonment;
- Abuse of another person that affected the child;
- Use of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that interfere with the parent’s ability to provide caretaking functions; and/or
- Persistent interference with the other parent’s access to the child.
A DuPage County Family Lawyer Can Help
Do you need assistance with your child custody case? An experienced Oakbrook Terrace family lawyer can help with your situation. The attorneys at our firm have years of experience advocating for members of the Muslim community in DuPage County, and we can answer your questions today. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office for more information.