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 Illinois family law attorneys, MKFM Law, supervised visitation, supervised visitation centers, child custody, visitation orderWhat can a parent do if he or she believes a former spouse is acting in a manner that is harmful to their child during visitation? Moreover, what if the court orders visitation but a parent is reluctant to take his or her child to the former spouse's home due to certain individuals residing in the home?

In some cases, custodial parents may find themselves concerned about the kind of environment their child may be in when they visit the other parent. A concerned parent may want to protect their child and request supervised visitation. However, it is not always simple to have the court order supervised visitation, and a parent requesting such visitation would have to show by clear and convincing evidence certain factors in order to prevail.

Visitation and Illinois Law

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Illinois family law attorney, right of first refusal, MKFM Law, Illinois law, child custody, child visitationRecently, the Illinois law governing child custody and visitation was changed to provide parents in a joint custody arrangement with an opportunity to spend more time with their child. Prior to the amendment, unless otherwise agreed, a parent who had to arrange for childcare during his or her custodial parenting time had no obligation to notify the other parent of the opportunity to care for the child. However, this change to the law now requires a parent, who needs childcare for a significant period of time during his or her arranged parenting time, to first contact the other parent to see if he or she is able to take the child at that time.

Right of First Refusal

The right of first refusal, as the new provision is called, may be granted to one or both parents in a joint custody arrangement by a judge in his or her discretion. As with most other issues surrounding child custody and visitation, a judge arrives at the decision to grant or deny the right of first refusal by considering the best interests of the child. The law recognizes that it is in the best interest of the child to spend as much time as possible with a parent, instead of a child care provider. The only exception to this right being triggered is in cases of emergency. However, when one parent has advanced notice of needing childcare, he or she has to inform the other parent first.

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mandatory parenting time, child custody laws, Illinois laws, new laws, family law, visitation, parenting

There are two “dueling” bills currently pending in the Illinois legislature that relate to divorce and parenting time (otherwise known as visitation). The passage of one of the bills, House Bill 1452, would introduce sweeping changes to the Illinois divorce laws. The other bill, House Bill 5425, focuses only on setting new standards and presumptions for parenting time for non-custodial parents.

Although there is not one single “standard” visitation schedule for non-custodial parents, a common default arrangement gives a non-custodial parent visitation every other weekend and one or two evenings for dinner during the week. Many in the family law profession believe this default schedule needs to change. In 2008, the Family Law Study Committee was formed to address proposed changes to Illinois divorce law. Members of that committee included family advocates, attorneys, and members of the legislature. Their recommendation was that giving both parents equal parenting time is often in the best interest of the children and, therefore, Illinois law should reflect that idea.

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Moving After a Divorce, With Children IMAGEDuring a divorce proceeding, resolving the issues of child custody and visitation rights can be very difficult and costly for both the parties and the minor children. With emotional levels high, children are often affected deeply by divorce. According to WebMD, “children of divorce tend to fall behind in their math and social skills and may not catch up with their peers.” These educational challenges can often accompany feelings of anxiety, sadness, and low self-esteem. According to the study, published in a 2011 issue of American Sociological Review, “these problems first surfaced when the divorce proceedings began and did not get better or worse after it was finalized.”

After a divorce, many spouses feel the need to cut all ties—to begin a new life in a new place where the bad memories of the failed marriage are left behind. Yet moving can often cause anxiety or stress for children. How does relocating after divorce affect kids? According to a publication issued by the Financial Planning Association (FPA), “it is estimated that 17 to 25 percent of custodial parents move out of the area within the first two years after divorce.” That means that up to a quarter of children of divorce face a double psychological whammy: how to navigate the sociological implications of divorce while also dealing with losing their school and social world. Nonetheless, according to the FPA, “there does not appear to be any credible evidence on the effects on children moving away with one parent after divorce.”

Laws regarding relocating after winning custody vary by state. In Illinois, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, “the court may grant leave, before or after judgment, to any party having custody of any minor child or children.” However, historically, prevailing on a motion to remove the minor children from Illinois has been a difficult if not impossible feat. Yet, as of more recent, Illinois courts seem more open to removal as our society becomes more transient and technologically advanced.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree