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Can I Get Full Custody in Illinois if My Childs Mother is Abusive?

 Posted on June 21, 2022 in Child Custody

wheaton divorce lawyerGetting sole custody of a child is difficult in Illinois and many fathers who have tried would argue that it is even more difficult if you are not a child’s mother. Judges are reluctant to keep a child away from a parent without a compelling reason, and although many parents dislike their ex’s parenting style, few behaviors are serious enough to warrant giving full parental responsibilities and parenting time to just one parent. 

In genuine cases of abuse or neglect, Illinois courts can and do restrict the abusive parent’s access to a child, either by heavily limiting contact or curtailing it entirely. Yet the difficulty of bringing such a case before a judge should not dissuade fathers who are concerned their children are suffering. If you find yourself wondering whether you may be able to get full custody of your children in Illinois, read this blog and then contact a custody modification attorney who can help. 

When is a Parent Unfit in Illinois? 

Because Illinois law recognizes that children do best when both parents play a substantial role in their lives, parents are rarely deemed unfit even when their parenting style leaves much to be desired. However, there are some parental behaviors that do merit either significant restriction or complete termination of parental rights in Illinois. This include: 

  • Ongoing or worsening substance abuse 

  • Child abandonment

  • Untreated or unmanageable mental illness

  • Imprisonment 

  • Exposing a child to an unsafe living environment 

  • Neglect

  • Disregard for a child’s welfare

When determining whether to give decision-making responsibilities and parenting time to only one parent, courts will primarily consider the best interests of the child. 

How Can I Prove My Child’s Mother is Abusive? 

While a few parents are deliberately sneaky about covering up child abuse, most cases of abuse and neglect leave telltale signs and symptoms. An attorney can help you gather evidence and document ongoing abuse, including with: 

  • Police records

  • Medical records

  • Photographs and videos

  • Emails, text messages, or social media content 

  • Testimony from the child

Because the state takes allegations of child abuse seriously, it is important to avoid making allegations and starting a case unless you are certain that doing so would be in the child’s best interests. Filing a motion to receive full custody when the circumstances do not merit it may actually backfire. Before filing a motion to modify custody arrangements during or after your divorce, speak with an attorney who can guide you through the process and make sure you have the best chance to succeed. 

Meet with a DuPage County Parental Responsibilities Lawyer

If you are a father who is worried that your child’s mother is engaging in abusive or neglectful behavior that is damaging the physical or mental health of your child, take action right away. The experienced Wheaton, IL child custody attorneys with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. have helped many parents demonstrate to a judge that their child’s best interests are served by one parent having sole custody in Illinois. Call us now at 630-462-9500 to schedule your confidential consultation today. 






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