Appeals court severely restricts father’s visitation rights

A Will County, Illinois, appeals court recently affirmed the severe restriction of a father’s visitation rights to his children.

This case highlights the impact of mental health and substance abuse issues on a marriage and the effect that it can have in subsequent child custody and visitation orders.

The father and mother of the children were married in 2000 and had two children together. The mother filed for divorce in spring of 2009, alleging extreme and repeated mental cruelty and alleging that here was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

As with many divorces, the couple quarreled extensively over child custody and visitation. Both spouses alleged that the other was mentally unstable and acted inappropriately around the children. Emergency orders flew back and forth and the courts had to decide which parent to believe.

In this case, the court eventually ordered the father to undergo a Rule 215 evaluation. The examining doctor said that the father had a mood disorder and character problems such as narcissism or paranoia. Although the doctor did not consider the father to pose a physical threat to the children, she was concerned with his breaks from reality and alcohol consumption.

The trial court ordered all of the father’s visitation sessions to be supervised. The father filed a motion to reconsider and appealed, but ran into many common issues which face parents who fail to hire a lawyer in family law cases. Specifically, the appeals court found that the father’s appeal did not contain adequate facts or sufficient details of any errors at the trial court level. The appeals court also found that the father’s interpretation of the laws surrounding visitation was insufficient or inaccurate.

Hire an experienced family law attorney instead of doing an appeal on your own. An experienced lawyer will evaluate your case and set realistic expectations regarding child custody and visitation issues.


The Rolling Meadows attorney Donald J. Cosley is highly experienced in family law cases. If you have a question about custody or visitation appeals, contact him online or call 847-253-3100.

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