The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

How Can Domestic Violence Affect Child-Related Issues During Divorce?

 Posted on August 14,2020 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Geneva divorce attorney parenting time

One of the most serious and unfortunately still prevalent social issues that families face today is domestic violence. Dealing with domestic violence in any situation is never simple, but having to cope with domestic violence during a divorce can make the divorce process a million times more stressful. According to information from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million men and women are affected by acts of domestic violence each year in the United States. Many people believe that domestic violence consists of purely physical acts, such as slapping or choking. However, domestic violence is really about control, rather than pain, so the abuser will often use multiple tactics to control the victim, including other forms of abuse, such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or harassment. This is why it is crucial for families experiencing domestic abuse to get help from an experienced Illinois divorce attorney before beginning the process.

Divorce and Child-Related Issues

Like most things during the divorce, issues related to the children are typically settled with an agreement made between the parents. However, in some situations, such as those in which domestic violence is present in the home, the parents may be unable or unwilling to cooperate or come to a consensus with a parenting time plan or allocation of parental responsibilities. This is when a judge will step in and make decisions for the parents in regard to Illinois law and what is in the child’s best interests.

Domestic Abuse and Parenting Time Division

When it comes to parenting time, it is generally accepted that it is in a child’s best interests to spend time with both of his or her parents. Illinois law states that judges are to presume that both parents are fit and that no restrictions should be placed on parenting time unless that parenting time would endanger the child’s mental, emotional, physical,d or moral well-being.

If the judge does determine that a parenting time restriction is appropriate, the type of restriction will depend on the specific situation. The judge will consider a variety of factors when making the decision, including the nature and severity of the abuse, whether or not the abuser has been criminally convicted of domestic violence and how many times the abuse has occurred. Most of the time, restrictions placed on parenting time involve some sort of supervision requirement or they require the abusive parent to conduct their parenting time at a location that is not the child’s primary residence.  

Domestic Abuse and Parental Decision-Making Responsibilities

In divorce cases involving domestic violence, a judge will also determine how each parent’s decision-making rights and responsibilities are allocated. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that the judge is not required to allocate decision-making responsibilities to each parent. This means that it is completely up to the judge to determine how to best allocate the decision-making responsibilities for the child. In most cases involving domestic violence, most of the parental responsibilities would likely be given to the non-abusive parent.

Contact a Yorkville Divorce Attorney

Although the intention of most divorce courts today is to have a couple essentially create their own divorce agreement, in certain situations, that is not possible. If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, you should immediately contact an accomplished Kendall County divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you ensure your rights and best interests are being protected throughout your divorce process. To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our legal team, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




Share this post:
The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top