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move, Rolling Meadows family law attorneysIf you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, you probably realize how important it is for your child to maintain a healthy relationship with his or her other parent. There are exceptions, of course, including situations in which the other parent is completely absent, negligent, or, worst of all, abusive. Following your divorce or breakup, you and the other parent most likely managed to come to an agreement regarding your child, granting each of you certain rights and responsibilities. What happens, though, when you decide that you want to move out of the area with your child? Do you have the right to do so? Is it possible to move too far away?

As with most considerations regarding child custody, or the allocation of parental responsibilities as it is now called in Illinois, there are no definitive answers to these questions. Instead, the law provides that parents are expected to act in their child’s best interests, and when there is a dispute regarding what is best for the child, the court may intervene.

Distance Considerations

When you are looking to move to a new town or out of Illinois altogether with your child, the law places basic limitations on such a move if you share parental responsibilities. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifies that you will need the consent of the other parent or the court for a move that is:

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violence, Rolling Meadows domestic violence lawyersWhen you hear the words “domestic violence” do you imagine a bruised and battered spouse? While domestic abuse does often involve overt acts of physical violence, not all abusive relationships are obvious to others. In fact, many people who are in an abusive relationship may not even realize it. They incorrectly assume that because their abusive partner is not literally punching and kicking them that the spouse’s demeaning, frightening, or threatening behavior is not abuse. Nothing can be further from the truth. Read on to learn about the more subtle signs of domestic violence and what you can do if you are currently in an abusive relationship.

Humiliation, Threats, and Isolation Are Signs of Abuse

The laws regarding domestic violence are listed in section 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes and are collectively called the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. In the act, the word “abuse" is defined as “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation…” This means that according to the law, abuse does not have to be physical to be considered domestic violence.

If your partner purposely frightens, demeans, or threatens you, this is a form of domestic violence. A common way abusers control their victims is by isolating them from their friends and family. This is what “interference with personal liberty” refers to in the Domestic Violence Act. If your partner is not allowing you to make or receive phone calls, has forbidden you from getting a job, or otherwise controls where you go and who you interact with, this is abuse. Another tactic abusive partners use to control their victims is humiliation and intimidation. Abusive partners often make their victims feel ashamed, ridiculed, or afraid for their safety.

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abuse, Rolling Meadows domestic abuse attorneyOften, when a person hears the term “domestic violence” or “domestic abuse” they think of physical abuse like hitting, kicking, pushing, or choking. However, domestic violence does not only refer to physical acts such as these. Emotional or psychological abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, and those who are perpetrators of it should be held accountable.

Every couple has arguments from time to time. Sometimes, a spouse raises their voice at the other or says things that they do not really mean. This is not emotional abuse. The behavior becomes abusive when the perpetrator attempts to control their partner through their behavior. Instead of brandishing a physical weapon, a person who is emotionally abusing their partner will use lies and insults as their weapons. An abuser may use tactics such as these when attempting to gain control over their partner:

  • Isolating Their Partner from Others: it is a big warning sign when someone discourages his or her partner from having healthy relationships with friends and family. Oftentimes, abusers will purposely drive a wedge between their victim and victim’s friends and family in order to exert more control over him or her;
  • Insulting or Humiliating Their Partner: We all say things that hurt others’ feelings from time to time, but when it becomes intentional and relentless, such behavior is abusive. A perpetrator of domestic violence will often use insults and putdowns to tear down the self-confidence of their victim, making him or her more reliant on the abuser;
  • Gaslighting Their Partner: Gaslighting is a term made famous by a play called Gas Light in which a malicious husband continually dims the gas-powered lights and then denies it in order to confuse his wife. Gaslighting refers to telling lies or using other manipulative tactics in order to make a victim question their own feelings, instincts, and even their sanity. The abuser does this in order to weaken his or her victim and gain power over them; and;
  • Controlling Their Partner Through Threats: Many men and women in abusive relationships do not seek help because they are afraid that the abuser will retaliate. Abusers often threaten their victim or their victim’s friends, family, or children in order to control their victim.

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