The Impact of Sexual Offenses on Visitation and Custody Rights
Sexual offenses of a parent have significant consequences on their child visitation and custody rights. This is true even if an offense did not involve any harm to a child. Issues related to visitation and custody for a parent convicted of a sex offense may arise during or after divorce proceedings.
A parent who has been convicted of a sexual offense faces limited rights when it comes to decision making, parenting time, and visitation of a child. In all cases, a child's best interests are always considered by the court.
Under Illinois law, in determining the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities, the court considers, among other factors, whether one of the parents is a sex offender. If this is the case, the court also considers the exact nature of the offense and any treatment that the parent participated in.
For parenting time, the court will generally impose no restrictions unless it is demonstrated by a preponderance of evidence that a parent's exercise of parenting time will seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. In determining the allocation of parenting time, the court will consider whether a parent is a convicted sex offender or lives with a convicted sex offender. If either is true, the exact nature of the sex offense and any treatment that the offender participated in is also considered by the court. In considering these issues, the parties are entitled to a hearing.
A parent is not entitled to parenting time if he or she is found to have been convicted of an offense involving an illegal sex act against a victim less than 18 years of age. The loss of the right to parenting time continues while the offender is incarcerated or while on parole, probation, conditional discharge, periodic imprisonment, or mandatory supervised release and until the parent complies with any terms and conditions that the court determines to be in the best interests of the child. The nature of the offense and any treatment the offender participated in is also considered.
Restrictions on visitation follow a similar pattern as the loss of parenting time. A parent is not entitled to visitation while in prison, on parole probation, or on mandatory supervised release. Once discharged from the above listed conditions, visitation may be granted only after the parent completes a treatment program approved by the court.
If a parent intends to marry or reside with a sex offender, reasonable notice must be provided to the other parent with whom he or she has a minor child prior to the marriage or start of the residency.
Illinois Family Law Attorneys
Sex offenses are serious crimes that would cause any parent to be alarmed. As a result, Illinois law places significant restrictions on interactions of convicted sex offenders and their children. If you have questions related to any aspect of child custody in divorce cases, reach out to an experienced DuPage County, Illinois family law attorney today. At MKFM Law, we understand the importance of child custody and visitation determinations. Call 630-665-7300 today.