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How domestic violence can affect parenting time

51560547_S.jpgDomestic violence can have a deep impact not only on the victim but also on those who witness the abuse, particularly when they are children. This might be a concern facing Illinois parents who are negotiating parental responsibilities and have been victims of domestic violence. They might also worry about how the court will handle allegations of domestic violence or even distant-past instances of such as abuse when it comes to parenting time.

Courts will always consider the best interests of the child, so even though the goal of the court is usually to have the child continue their relationship with both parents as much as possible, if there are abuse allegations, the court will take them very seriously. When it comes to family law matters, a parent might lose parenting time if the court finds evidence of domestic violence or enough concern with the allegations to believe that parent could pose a danger to the child or their other parent. During the investigation, the court will consider what impact, if any, the domestic violence had on the child, if the abuse is continuing, if there is a criminal case pending against the abuser, how severe the abuse has been, any photographic evidence gathered and any police reports.

Besides outright denying parenting time, the court can make the abuser take anger management classes or attend domestic violence counseling, order supervised parenting time or issue a restraining order to protect the other parent and child from the abuser.

During a case with such circumstances, a parent may consult with a family law lawyer for information and guidance about their options to protect their child from a potential abuser. A lawyer may also provide legal representation during negotiations and court appearances.

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