Do You Need Protected Parenting Time With Your Children?
As a non-custodial parent, your visits to your children are restricted. If your actions have had a negative impact on your children’s physical and emotional health, the court can place greater restrictions. Generally, visitation is not set in a joint or sole custody situation unless a child’s welfare is at stake.
In Illinois, courts use the term parenting time instead of visitation because visitation is deemed more appropriate for family law concerns. The aim of courts is not to determine winners and losers, but to ensure both parties can come to agreements that can benefit their children. It is the best way to characterize sensitive disputes.
That is why Illinois courts specifically use the term ‘the best interest of the child’ when determining parenting time, especially in Order of Protection hearings. A court will review several factors, including:
- The parents’ and child’s wishes;
- Prior agreements between the parents;
- The mental and physical health of the parents;
- How the child adjusts at school and home during the case;
- How far the parents live from each other;
- The cost of transportation between the parents’ homes;
- The ability of the parents to cooperate;
- The ability of the parents to put their child’s interests above their own;
- Whether either of the parents is abusive or threatening, and;
- Whether either of the parents is a convicted sex offender.
This is far from a complete list. If the court finds a parent/respondent is guilty of actions that harmed the child, they will restrict parenting time. Some of those actions include the following:
- Hiding the child from the petitioner;
- Using parenting time to threaten or harass the petitioner, and;
- Abusing or endangering the child in any way.
In other words, if your actions are against the best interest and welfare of the child, your parenting time will be reduced by the court. Besides time restraints, the court may also specify locations where you must drop off your child after your visits or ensure you are not intoxicated during pickup and drop-off.
Also, courts can order supervised parenting times. If parents cannot decide who will watch over visitations, they can hire someone from a supervised parenting time center.
If your spouse or someone else in your family has filed an Order of Protection against you, you should take it seriously. Ignoring the order is not an option if you want to see your children again or want to spend as much time with them as possible. If you don’t show up for hearings, the judge will not be willing to hear your side of the story later on.
At the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, we have a dedicated team of attorneys who are experienced in dealing with such cases with personalized legal solutions. Overcome family conflicts and get more time with your children with our aggressive representation and negotiation services. Get in touch with us in Schaumburg, Illinois, today.