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When a parent is concerned about the child's safety

When parents in Illinois are getting a divorce, one parent could be worried about the child's safety with the other parent. One father feared that his wife, who drank a lot, would drive with their 7-year-old son in the car. That father was also concerned about the fact that his wife wanted to delay the divorce in order to record herself taking care of the child. She had reportedly blocked him and given him no way to contact her, and he was concerned since he had been the child's main caregiver up to that point.

A parent can try to get emergency custody if a child is not safe, but a court will probably want some kind of evidence that the parent is unfit. Without a police report or a similar type of evidence, the parent might need to rely on witness accounts from a child care provider, a neighbor or someone else. However, even this may not be enough. In a case where a father drank nightly, a court ruled that since there was not sufficient evidence that he did it when his children were present, he could still have access to them.

Parents should document any conflict they have with the other parent. They should also document when they take the child to the doctor or similar tasks.

This documentation can be helpful if there a conflict over child custody. For example, one thing family courts often consider is which parent is the main caregiver. If a parent can show that they have been the main caregiver, it might increase the likelihood that they would be awarded custody. The other parent will still usually have visitation rights since courts consider it in the best interest of the child to see both parents. If alcohol abuse is an issue, the parent may only be allowed supervised visitation.

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