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How allocation works when domestic violence is an issue

The prevailing wisdom when it comes to allocation of parental responsibilities these days is that the best interests of a child are served when both parents share in the important aspects of a child's life and have plenty of time to raise and care for the child.

Indeed, many Peoria parents likely find this sort of arrangement helpful generally and, in particular, beneficial to their children. However, the prevailing wisdom does not work in all cases.

For example, when one parent has committed an act of domestic violence against the other parent, an allocation of parental responsibilities that gives an abuser additional opportunities to perpetrate abuse and otherwise bully a victim is just not appropriate.

Fortunately, Illinois' laws recognize that this situation can be an exception to the rule that children really need the involvement of both parents.

For one, when allocating parenting time and authority, a court must consider whether one parent has engaged in physical violence, or even other forms of abuse, against the other parent. It should be noted that the alleged perpetrator need not have been charged with a crime or even had contact with the police in order for the alleged victim to bring abuse to the attention of the court.

In certain cases, a court may even find that a domestic abuser has behaved in such a way that he or she seriously endangered the health or well-being of his or her child. If a court concludes such is the case, then the court may restrict that parent's time with the child both by limiting time and by imposing conditions on it.

Handling an allocation of parental responsibilities when allegations of domestic violence are in play requires some special skill and sensitivity to the issue. In this respect, our law office is available to help.

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