A previous post on this blog discussed some of the reasons why a Rockford, Illinois, court might restrict a parent’s responsibilities to make decisions for his or her child or even limit or restrict that parent’s time with the child. However, although the reasons mentioned in that post would certainly be concerning, it is important to remember that judges cannot restrict parenting time for any reason.
Indeed, as this blog has discussed, our state’s laws requires that, before a judge can restrict a parent’s rights, the judge must find that a parent did or failed to do something that put his or her child’s health or well-being in significant danger. While certainly abuse, drug addiction and the like can qualify under this standard, a parent need not be perfect to have unrestricted parenting time. Isolated mistakes, even if they are somewhat serious, as well as behavior that is obnoxious or designed to annoy the other parent and even many violations of a custody or parenting time orders are not going to be enough to restrict parenting time.
What this means is that a parent who is being threatened with supervised visits should strongly consider getting the help of an experienced child custody attorney with experience handling cases in the Rockford area. Parents have important rights; most importantly, the presumption of fitness and that parents are entitled to standard parenting time, until proven otherwise.
On the other hand, parents may have legitimate concerns that the child’s other parent is abusive or is hurting the child. In these cases, legal representation is also vital to get the child the protection he or she needs.