Responding to a Parenting Time Restriction or Limitation Request
If you are a parent, any circumstance that prevents you from spending time with your child can be heartbreaking. The situation may feel even worse when you prevented from seeing your child based on allegations made by your child’s other parent. How you respond to those allegations, however, can go a long way in securing your rights to reasonable parenting time, and an experienced family lawyer can help.
When a child’s parents are no longer—or never were—married, Illinois law permits a court to restrict or limit a party’s parenting time in certain situations. Before doing so, the court must identify that, without a limitation or restriction, the child would be in serious physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger. Such concerns are typically brought to the court’s attention by one parent looking to restrict the other parent’s time with the child.
When your child’s other parent presents accusations like these regarding you, it is important to step back and view your situation objectively. Are you engaging in behavior or associating with people that could reasonably be seen to present a danger to your child? Are you drinking or smoking too much around you child? Do you have issues controlling your anger? If you can see where the other parent is coming from, you may be able to address the concerns quickly without losing access to your child. If you believe the other parent is simply being spiteful, however, then you must be prepared to stand your ground.
In claiming that you present a danger to your child, the other parent will need to offer proof. Likewise, it may be a good idea for you to begin keeping track of your behaviors and habits as well. Keep a record for each visit regarding pick-up and drop-off times, who you were with, where you went, and any other details that may be relevant. You should also keep a copy of any communication between you and the other parent. Your case cannot come down to the other parent’s word against yours if you have documentation of your visits and actions.
Above all else, do not challenge the court’s authority or violate a standing order. If your parenting time has been limited or restricted temporarily pending a hearing, do not try to get around it. Failure to comply with a court directive can result in contempt of court charges, which can lead to fines and other sanctions. Worse yet, your behavior can be used against in your parenting time proceedings, potentially costing you even more time with your child.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when you are facing the limitation or restriction of your parenting time is to consult with an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.