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Joliet child custody lawyersIn most cases in which a child’s parents get a divorce, and in many cases in which the parents have never been married, an Illinois court will attempt to reach a resolution in which both parents have substantial parenting time and a role in parental decision-making responsibilities. However, the child’s best interests are the most important consideration, and in cases in which a parent’s behavior could put the child at risk, the court may order a restriction of parental responsibilities. One such example is when a parent has problems with drug addiction or substance abuse.

Parental Responsibility Restrictions Due to Substance Abuse

The habitual abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, and other controlled substances can not only impair a parent’s ability to perform parental responsibilities, but can also directly harm their child. Under Illinois law, parenting time and decision-making responsibilities can both be restricted if there is sufficient evidence that a parent has put the child’s physical, mental, or moral health, or emotional development at risk.

In cases involving substance abuse, the court may order that a parent must refrain from using or possessing a substance before and during their parenting time. The parent may also be ordered to complete a drug or alcohol abuse treatment program as a condition of any parenting time or visitation they are granted. Depending on the situation, additional restrictions may be warranted as well, including:

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Tips for Divorcing a Spouse With a Substance Abuse Problem in IllinoisAlthough most people who get married enter into their union thinking it will last “til death do us part,” that is not what statistics show. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce in the United States. There are many reasons that can cause a couple to file for divorce. Issues such as infidelity, financial problems, and drug or alcohol addiction can all put a significant strain on any relationship. Illinois is a no-fault state, which means that a couple must only have “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce. However, when one spouse has a substance abuse problem, this can make the divorce process very challenging. That is why it is essential that you plan ahead and take steps to protect your rights before filing for divorce from an addicted spouse. 

Taking Precautions to Protect Yourself

Excessive drug and alcohol use can lead to many problems and negatively impact a family as well. When someone drinks or uses drugs, he or she may become violent by physically or verbally abusing his or her spouse and children. The abusive partner may also squander the couple’s savings to fund his or her addiction. 

Although every situation is unique, there are certain decisions that still need to be made in an Illinois divorce, regardless of the reasons for splitting up. These include the allocation of parental responsibilities and child support if children are involved, as well as spousal support and the division of property or assets. All of these issues may be impacted by the fact that one party has a substance abuse problem. For example, a parent may be required to have supervised visitation or denied parenting time altogether if it is proven that it is in the best interest of the children. 

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