How does domestic violence impact parental rights in Illinois?

| Aug 14, 2020 | Uncategorized |

For couples with children in Illinois, protecting the relationship with their kids is often the top priority in a pending divorce. In most family circumstances, the Illinois family courts try to focus on the best interest of the children when splitting up parental rights and responsibilities.

Generally, those best interests will include getting to spend plenty of time with both of their parents. However, in a situation involving domestic violence, the courts may choose to limit one parent’s time with the children. 

Abuse allegations alone may not affect the courts’ decision

The good news for people going through a contentious divorce who worry that their ex may try to slander them is that the Illinois family courts aren’t likely to take allegations of domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse at face value. They will most likely require some kind of evidence or documentation from the parent making the claim.

Hospital records, documentation from counseling or therapy, and even police arrest records can help substantiate claims of abuse. Journal entries, photos of injuries and testimony from witnesses can also help. If the spouse claiming abuse does not have that evidence, they may have a difficult time convincing the courts to limit the rights of the other parent.

What do the courts do in abuse situations?

The exact decision a judge makes regarding parental rights in a divorce with allegations of domestic violence will depend on the nature of the claims, the family circumstances and the disposition of the judge involved.

In some cases, judges will give one parent more parental rights and responsibilities than the other. In other cases, judges might order supervised visitation or even parenting classes and therapy for a parent accused of domestic violence.

Whether you are a victim of domestic violence or facing allegations of domestic violence, you will likely need help navigating a divorce with this kind of complicating factor involved.