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


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How Substance Abuse Can Affect Child Custody in Illinois

Posted on in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

aurora child custody lawyerSubstance abuse is a huge problem in the United States. In fact, nearly 21 million Americans suffer from addiction. Whether it is alcohol, cocaine, prescription pills, or another substance, addiction can negatively impact many areas of a person’s life, including his or her ability to care for children. If you are currently in the middle of a child custody battle and you or the other parent suffer from addiction, a child custody lawyer can help you understand how best to proceed.

Parental Responsibility Restrictions a Judge May Impose

Parents who abuse alcohol and controlled substances may have difficulty taking proper care of a child. In some cases, they may even put the child in danger. However, some parents who suffer from addiction are actively taking steps to keep the addiction under control so it does not affect their parenting. 

The court recognizes has the authority to restrict parenting time if there is evidence that the parent’s substance abuse has negatively affected the child’s physical or mental health.

A judge may require the parent to stop using a substance before and during their parenting time. The parent may also have to successfully complete a drug or alcohol abuse treatment program to receive visitation time with the children.

In certain situations, a judge may only allow the parent with a substance abuse problem supervised visitation. A representative from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a trustworthy family member may have to supervise the parenting time.

Modifying a Custody Order

Parents who want to modify a child custody order can typically motion the court two years after the first order was placed. The court will typically grant a modification if there is a substantial change in circumstances necessitating the change. Changing a child custody modification is a bit more challenging if it has been less than two years since the order was established. In this case, the parent requesting a modification will need to show that the current child custody arrangement seriously endangers the child’s wellbeing. Illinois courts make all decisions about parenting time and parental responsibilities based on what is in the child’s best interests. 

Contact a Kane County Child Custody Attorney

If you are in the middle of a child custody battle and are concerned how your substance abuse may affect your parenting time, it is important to speak to an Aurora, IL child custody attorney from the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. We sympathize with what a difficult time you are going through right now and can guide you through every step of the child custody case. Call us at 630-409-8184 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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


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

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