Divorcing or unmarried parents have to address many crucial child-related issues. In Illinois, parents are asked to create a parenting plan that specifically states each parent’s rights and obligations. The parents will include information about the parenting time schedule (formerly known as visitation) as well as the allocation of parental responsibilities or decision-making authority.
Research shows that about 2.6 percent of children live in single-parent homes with a parent who is addicted to illegal drugs. Another study shows that more than one in ten children have a parent with alcoholism.
If you or your child’s other parent has a substance abuse problem, it is important to know how this can impact the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.
Parental Drug and Alcohol Use
Some parents suffering from addiction are able to keep their addiction a secret. They do not use substances around their child, and the addiction does not affect their parenting ability. However, others place their child in danger because they are too impaired by drugs or alcohol to keep the child safe and provide a reasonable degree of care.
Illinois law states that parenting time is awarded without regard to parental conduct that does not affect the parent’s relationship with the child. However, an Illinois court may restrict a parent’s parenting time or parental responsibilities if there is evidence that the parent has endangered a child’s wellbeing.
Parenting Time Restrictions May Be Necessary in Some Cases
If a parent’s addiction has endangered the child’s physical, mental, emotional, or moral health, the court may impose a parenting time restriction. For example, the court could order the parent not to consume substances before or during his or her parenting time. Alternatively, the court may require the parent to attend substance abuse treatment. If there are serious concerns about the child’s safety during a parent’s parenting time, the court can require parenting time to be supervised by a responsible third party. Sometimes a parent’s parenting time is limited, and in extreme cases, eliminated altogether. It all depends on what is in the child’s best interests.
Contact a St. Charles Child Custody Lawyer
Addiction to drugs or alcohol can impact the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time in many ways. If you or your child’s other parent have an addiction, contact our Kane County divorce lawyer for help with parenting plans, custody disputes, child support, and much more. Call our office today at [[phone]] for a free consultation.