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When Is Supervised Parenting Time Necessary in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody

Geneva family law attorneyParenting time (visitation) can be a sensitive topic in a divorce, since both parents typically want to spend the most time that they can with their child. However, the court determines what is in the best interest of the child when making decisions during the divorce proceedings. In some cases, one parent may have a history of drug or alcohol addiction or domestic abuse. This could impact his or her allocation of parental responsibilities, as well as parenting time. Illinois law gives the court permission to restrict parenting time as much as necessary in order to protect a minor child, including requiring all visits to be supervised. If supervised visitation is considered necessary, the court will order it and it will be part of the parenting plan. 

What Does Supervision Look Like?

Supervision is defined as “the presence of a third party during a parent’s exercise of parenting time.” Supervision may be ordered by the court if there is enough evidence that proves a parent engaged in conduct that endangered the child’s mental or physical health, or that impaired the child’s emotional development. These orders are meant to protect the child and may include any of the following requirements:

  • A modification or elimination of the parent’s decision-making responsibilities and/or parenting time
  • Supervision by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) 
  • Having an intermediary present during the exchange between parent and child, or taking place in a protected setting
  • Restricting a parent’s communication with or proximity to the other parent or the child
  • Ordering a parent to refrain from possessing or consuming alcohol or drugs during (or right before) parenting time with the child
  • Restricting the presence of certain persons when a parent is spending time with the child
  • Posting a bond to secure the return of the child following the parent’s visit 
  • Completing a treatment program for abuse or for any other behavior that is detrimental to the child

The “supervisor” can be a trained therapist, social worker, or even a relative or friend. Even if the parents agree on a supervisor, the court must approve the nominee. When considering who should be a supervisor, it is important to note that professionals typically cost money, and friends and family members do not.

Scenarios That Require Supervision

Various situations can warrant the need for supervised visits if a parent is considered “unfit” to care for the child in an appropriate manner. Mental illness can sometimes cause a person to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, or engage in domestic abuse. Supervised visitation may be necessary when a parent participates in certain behaviors or actions take place, such as:

  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the child by a parent
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of one parent by the other parent
  • Substance abuse by the parent
  • Mental illness that could endanger the child
  • Risk of kidnapping by one of the parents
  • Parental neglect of the child

Contact a Geneva Divorce Lawyer

A couple may get divorced for many reasons, including domestic violence or substance abuse problems. One parent may be allocated the majority of the parental responsibilities, while the other has limited contact with the child. In addition, there are certain circumstances that warrant restricted or supervised parenting time between a parent and a child. That is why it is important to discuss your situation with one of our skilled Algonquin parenting time attorneys. We can help make sure your child’s best interest is the top priority. Call our office today at 630-200-4882 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K603.10

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