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Child Custody When the Other Parent is Dangerous

 Posted on November 29, 2023 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerBeing involved in a high-conflict child custody case is almost always very stressful for everyone involved. It can go from stressful to downright terrifying if your child’s other parent poses a threat to you or your children. Your primary concern is likely keeping your child safe. There are a number of reasons a parent might not be safe for a child to visit unsupervised. A parent who has an active substance abuse disorder or serious mental illness may not be able to provide adequate supervision or may behave unpredictably. A parent who has a history of violence towards you or your children is unlikely to stop the abuse if they are able to see the children without a trustworthy adult present. If your goal is to obtain sole custody, you will need to work with a highly skilled Illinois child custody attorney. You will need evidence showing why it is not safe for the kids to be left alone with the other parent. 

When Is Sole Custody Possible in Illinois? 

While courts generally want every child to enjoy a relationship with both parents, there are certainly cases where keeping one parent away from the child is in the child’s best interests. If the court believes that one parent is harmful to the child’s emotional or physical health, it will not hesitate to take steps to protect the child. Sole custody is typically only awarded when there is substantial evidence showing why and how the other is dangerous to the child. 

More commonly, supervised visitation is ordered. In supervised visitation, the dangerous parent may visit the children only when supervised by a trusted adult. These are almost never overnight visits. 

You may be able to get sole custody or supervised visitation only for your ex in cases where there is evidence that the other parent is: 

  • Addicted to drugs - People who are constantly impaired cannot adequately supervise kids. 
  • A habitual criminal - If the other parent is involved in a criminal lifestyle, the court will likely want to guard the child from exposure to that. 
  • Violent - Evidence showing that the other parent has been violently abusive toward you or the children will generally convince the court that the children are not safe with that parent. 
  • Neglectful - If your children were neglected under the watch of the other parent - for example, if you pick them up and find out that they were not fed dinner the previous night - the court will probably want to prevent such a situation from happening again. 

Another thing you can do is to pursue an Order of Protection that covers both you and the kids. 

Contact a Naperville, IL, Child Custody Lawyer

Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. cares tremendously about protecting children involved in custody cases. Our dedicated Will County, IL, child custody attorneys will do everything in our power to keep your children safe from a parent who might harm them. Contact us at 630-355-7776 for a free consultation. 

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