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Protecting Your Child From an Abusive Parent During Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on March 14, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIf your spouse has been abusive toward your child, protecting the child is likely your primary goal. Many parents will file for divorce soon after they discover the abuse or realize the extent of it. Leaving a spouse who has abused your child can be frightening, and you may fear that your spouse will engage in a fierce custody battle. Illinois child custody law is designed to protect children from parents who may harm them. The test courts use to determine who should have the child with them and when and under what circumstances based on the best interests of the child. If there is any evidence that this abuse has taken place, including your child’s testimony, the court is highly unlikely to allow the abusive parent time alone with the child. It is critical to be represented by an aggressive Arlington Heights child custody lawyer throughout this process.

Steps Your Attorney Can Take to Protect Your Child From Further Abuse 

Your attorney will likely want to act quickly to ensure the safety of your child. Whether the abuse was physical, sexual, or emotional in nature, having an abusive parent around can threaten a child’s mental and physical health. Steps your attorney can take include:

  • Getting a protection order - If your spouse was violent or sexually abusive toward the child, you may be able to quickly obtain an emergency protection order to keep your spouse away from your child and out of your home. 
  • Temporary child custody orders - Many spouses who are in conflict need temporary court orders regarding child custody. Your attorney can present evidence that the child would be unsafe with the other parent, which will most likely prompt the court to give you exclusive temporary custody until the allegations can be further investigated. 
  • Gather evidence of abuse - Your attorney can help you determine what type of evidence you might need and begin gathering proof. This may include reporting your spouse to the police if the child abuse became criminal in nature, photographing any bruises or other marks left on the child, or interviewing adults like teachers and guidance counselors who may have noticed signs of abuse. 
  • Fighting for full custody - While courts are usually reluctant to grant one parent exclusive custody, in cases where a child has been abused and could be further abused by one parent, courts often do allocate all the parenting time to the non-abusive parent. If any visitation with the abusive parent will be allowed, it will likely be supervised. 

Contact a Cook County, IL Child Custody Lawyer 

Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley is committed to protecting children who have faced abuse during their parents’ divorces. Arlington Heights child custody attorney Don Cosley has been fighting to protect children during custody battles for over 25 years. Contact us at 847-253-3100 to start with a complimentary and confidential consultation.

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