Visitation and Child Abuse

Visitation and Child Abuse, family law, child abuse, child custody, divorce, law officeGoing through a divorce can be an emotionally draining ordeal with many unanswered questions that are often fought over. Decisions must be made inside of an emotional space that often drives spouses to treat every decision like a zero-sum game. Spouses may try to punish each other or hide assets. However, there are legitimate concerns regarding visitation or what is referred to as parenting time when one parent is physically or emotionally abusive.

Proving Abuse

Abuse can manifest itself in many ways. The most obvious form of abuse is physical abuse. In instances where physical abuse exist there are physical marks that a victim or spouse can point to as reasons why the abusive spouse should not have unsupervised or any visitation rights. It is important that you hire a fearless and knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyer to assist you through this difficult process. That lawyer will be able to present compelling evidence and arguments to the court that explain the extent and severity of the physical abuse and why the abuse is cause to terminate a parent’s visitation rights.

The hardest form of abuse to prove is emotional abuse. Where physical abuse leaves physical marks and in some cases medical records documenting the abuse, emotional abuse is not so easily seen. Many times when an individual is emotionally abused there will be no visible signs to an outsider looking in. However, there are indicators of emotional abuse. Those indicators include but are not limited to:

  • Slowed down mental development
  • Low self-confidence
  • Socially withdrawn behavior
  • Chronic headaches
  • Unexplained avoidant behavior

This list of symptoms is certainly not exhaustive, and the presence of these symptoms do not themselves diagnose emotional abuse. It will take the use of medical experts to accurately identify the existence of emotional abuse. Knowing the types of experts to use and how to present that information persuasively to the court is the job of your proven DuPage County divorce attorney.

What Courts Consider When Determining Visitation

Illinois law is primarily concerned with the best interest of any children caught up in their parent’s divorce. The law is not intended to be punitive, nor is it intended to pit one parent against the other. In cases of abuse, many times, that is exactly what happens. If the court finds that it is appropriate, they may curtail a parent’s visitation rights in a number of different ways including:

  • Disallowing overnight visits
  • Mandating that any visits happen at the custodial parents home
  • Denying visitation when a parent is under the influence of a mind altering substance
  • Demand that visits be supervised by a third party

You and your families safety are of the utmost importance. It is imperative that you understand all of your options and make clear level headed decisions to protect the best interest of you and your family.

DuPage County Visitation Attorneys

If you or a loved one is the victim of abuse either physical or emotional, use the resources available to you. The passionate DuPage County divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. are ready and prepared to help your family through these difficult times. Contact our Aurora office at 630-409-8184 to schedule your initial consultation today.

Source:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/4/e68.short

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