Are You Concerned for Your Child’s Safety?
Following a divorce or break-up, parents go their separate ways, often creating vastly different lifestyles from one another. In most cases, however, each parent still has the right to at least reasonable visitation with the child, if not significant parenting time through a shared custody arrangement. For some parents, however, the difference in lifestyles can be particularly troubling, especially if there are concerns that the child is being negatively affected. If you have been questioning the appropriateness of the other parent’s behavior, it is important to know what you can and cannot do about it, and a family lawyer can help.
Your Opinion May Not Really Matter
Unless otherwise stated in your custody order or parenting agreement, how you feel about the other parent’s actions has little bearing on the situation. There are some exceptions, but those will be addressed in a moment. Even if you have been granted sole legal custody, meaning you are fully responsible for important decision-making in regard to your child, as long as the other parent has not been deemed unfit, he or she is permitted to parent as he or she desires. His or her time with the child is not under your control, and you do not have the authority to tell them what to do or how to do it.
The safety of your child must always remain the top priority for both you and the other parent. By law, parenting time and visitation may be restricted if the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health is seriously endangered. However, that is not a determination you are permitted to make entirely on your own. Instead, you must take your concerns to the court and request that restrictions be placed on other parent’s time with your child. Only in the most extreme cases will his or right rights to the child be completely terminated.
For example, if the other parent has shown signs of alcohol dependency and is likely to drive drunk with your child in the car, the court may choose limit his or her visits with your child in such a way that prevents the need for him or her to provide transportation. As such, visits may be ordered to take place at your home or under the supervision of a third party. The court may apply any restrictions it finds necessary to protect the well-being of the child.
Call for Consultation Today
If your child’s other parent has a history of questionable decisions and you believe that your child may be in danger, do not delay. Contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney today. We will help you take the necessary steps to protect your child, while ensuring you remain in full compliance with the law and applicable court orders. Call 630-232-9700 to get the assistance you need from an attorney who cares.