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How Can Domestic Violence Affect Child-Related Issues in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerFor decades, the United States has focused much time and energy on public awareness campaigns about the prevalence of domestic violence and what you can do if you are experiencing domestic violence in your home. Unfortunately, domestic violence still remains an issue to this day. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are around 12 million men and women who are victims of domestic violence each year.

When it comes to divorce or other child-related legal proceedings, situations involving accusations of domestic violence can sometimes be very volatile, and this can lead to concerns about protecting the safety of family members and providing for children's ongoing well-being. Because of this, there are a variety of complicated legal issues that may need to be addressed.

Domestic Violence and Parental Rights

During divorce cases and child custody proceedings in Illinois, the courts are of the opinion that the child’s best interests are best served if both parents play a close and continuing role in the child’s life. However, if domestic violence has occurred in the past, or if one parent believes the other parent's actions could threaten children's health and safety, the court may take steps to determine whether either parent is a threat to the child. In many cases, a guardian ad litem will be appointed to investigate the situation and offer recommendations about the decisions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

If the court believes that one parent has committed acts of domestic abuse or that a parent presents a risk to children's safety, it may choose to allocate parental responsibilities solely or primarily to the other parent. Since it is believed to be in children's best interests to spend time with both parents, the court will typically allow an allegedly abusive parent to continue to spend parenting time with the child. However, to ensure that children's safety and well-being are protected, restrictions may be placed on parenting time, such as the requirement to have supervision present during their parenting time or to pick up and drop off children in a public place. In extreme cases, the court may decide that spending any time with the parent would place children in danger of physical or emotional harm, and parenting time may be prohibited altogether until the parent completes certain requirements, such as attending drug treatment, anger management course, or parental education and maintaining a clean criminal record for a certain length of time.

 

A Naperville Family Law Attorney Can Help

When there is a history of violent behavior in a family, or when one parent accuses the other of committing domestic abuse, dealing with the legal issues involved in a divorce or child custody case can be very complicated and emotionally difficult. At the Goostree Law Group, we understand the seriousness of these situations, and our compassionate  DuPage County divorce lawyers will work with you to protect your children's best interests and help you achieve a positive resolution to your case. If you have any questions about how we can help you resolve these issues, call our office today at 630-364-4046. We offer free consultations.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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