Even with a court ordered parenting plan in place, divorced or separated parents sometimes find that co-parenting is not easy, and can still result in many disagreements. Some parents find that because the other parent dislikes them, they do everything in their power to make parenting time (visitation) and other custody arrangements extremely difficult.
However, if a parent has a legitimate reason to worry about the safety of a child, then he or she may have questions on when that parent can legally keep his or her children away from the other parent. There are very few situations in which a parent can be allowed to go against a court order with regards to parenting time.
Illinois law allows parenting time to be granted to parents unless a court finds that a parent would cause physical, mental, moral, or emotional harm to the child if granted either custody or parenting time. The key to this is that the court must make this determination, not the other parent. Therefore, if the parent has any information or evidence that a court can use to make its determination, the parent should present it as soon as possible.
Once entered, orders for parenting responsibilities cannot be changed for a period of time, unless it can be shown that the current situation endangers the child physically, mentally, or emotionally. If a parent believes a child is being abused by the other parent, or the other parent is putting the children in danger by his or her actions, it does not mean the parent has no legal remedies. The first thing a parent can do is see an experienced family law attorney to file for a modification of the parenting plan, or see if it is possible to file for an order granting emergency custody, which would take or keep the children away from the dangerous or abusive situation.
In most cases, the evidence of an abusive or dangerous situation has to be immediate for an emergency order, and cannot be based on past behavior by the parent, especially if the behavior was not directed towards the children. For example, a husband who was abusive to his wife, but never harmed their children, may be granted parental responsibilities of the children. But if a parent is picking up the children for visitation while intoxicated, this may be enough for a modification of the parenting plan.
Get Legal Help
If you are considering filing for divorce, and have questions about parental responsibilities and what kind of rights your spouse may get, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Keeping your children away from the other parent when they have been legally allowed to see them can result in legal problems for you. Contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC in DuPage County, Illinois, today.