As any parent can tell you, parents spend a lot of time worrying about their children. A parent may be concerned about bullies on the playground, if their child is zipping their coat up in the cold, or if he or she will be approached by strangers walking home from school. When a parent shares parenting responsibilities with a former partner, he or she usually assumes that the other parent is also looking out for the child’s best interest. Tragically, this is not always the case.
Some parents struggle to separate their own wants and needs from those of the child’s. This can often result in damage to the child’s quality of life. If you are concerned with how your former partner is parenting your child, there are steps you can take. Illinois law provides a court with the authority to limit a parent’s time with his or her child if he or she poses a serious danger to the child’s safety. This can include danger to the child’s physical, emotional, mental, or moral well-being. What is considered a “serious danger” is left to the interpretation of the court.
What to Do If You Wish to Restrict the Other Parent’s Parenting Time
If you believe that your child is in immediate danger, you may take steps to keep him or her safe, but you should notify the court of your actions as soon as possible. Do not attempt to resolve this issue on your own. Taking action without notifying the court can lead to allegations that you unduly denied the other parent access to the child. Doing so could affect your own access to parenting time.
You will need to notify the court as to the severity of the situation and request that the other parent’s parenting time be limited. The court takes such decisions very seriously, and simply claiming that you do not like what is happening will not be sufficient. You will need to provide evidence to support your claims about the other parent and demonstrate the danger he or she poses to your child.
While the court does have the power to deny the other parent’s access to the child altogether, such a response is typically reserved for the most extreme situations. The court is much more likely to place behavior limitations on the offending parent or to require supervised visits. For example, the court may order a parent with a drinking problem to refrain from consuming alcohol immediately prior to and during the time he or she spends with the child. If supervised visits are deemed appropriate, the offending parent may only exercise parenting time under your supervision or that of an appointed third party.
Contact an Attorney
If you believe that your child is in danger when he or she visits with the other parent, do not hesitate to act. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C., and get the help you need. Call 630-377-7770 for a free consultation at our St. Charles office today.