Attorneys Discuss Emergency Motions for Parental Responsibilities in Chicago
Illinois family courts can issue swift and harsh responses to any disputes over allocation of parental responsibilities. These courts are duty-bound to protect the best interests of children during custody battles and can issue orders for emergency parental allocation if they determine that one parent is not fit to look after a child. Oftentimes, these emergency orders are the result of another parent raising concerns with the court.
If you need to file for emergency parental responsibilities in Chicago, reach out to our team at Nottage and Ward, LLP. Our Chicago family law lawyers have served clients since 1988 in contentious allocation disagreements. We can explain your rights as a parent, outline how to protect your child’s best interests, and advocate for your family. Call us today at (312) 332-2915 to discuss your case.
The most important thing to an Illinois family court when allocating parental responsibilities between two parents is the child’s best interests and well-being. The judge will look over every aspect of the case, from where the child goes to school to his relationships with his parents, to determine how a parenting plan will impact the child’s well-being. If there is any cause for concern, such as one parent’s substance abuse issues, mental health conditions, or abuse, the judge may shift parental responsibilities to the other parent.
What the judge decides in an initial parenting plan is not set in stone, however. Either parent can request to have their parental responsibilities or parenting time re-evaluated if they feel the plan is unfair or detrimental to the child. Judges also take both parents’ wishes into consideration when allocating parental responsibilities. If there is a justification for changing parental responsibilities or a parenting plan, then the judge may consider an emergency motion.
A legal “motion” is when one person asks the court to take action on a matter. An emergency motion for parental allocation is a request to change a parenting plan immediately, often to grant one parent sole allocation. Emergency parental responsibilities are often granted on a temporary basis until the court can issue a more permanent plan.
With most motions, the issuing party must provide “notice” to the other side. For example, the spouse filing for divorce must notify the other. Emergency motions still require notice be sent to the other parent, but the process is often simpler. Instead of sending a formal letter of the motion, the issuing parent can call or send an email.
Another factor to consider is that emergency motions can be filed on an ex-parte basis, meaning the courts do not have to include the other parent in the discussion. This is common in cases of abuse, child endangerment, or abductions, where the court is acting quickly to protect the safety of a child. The parent who is filed against may be able to make their case in a court hearing down the line, but emergency parental responsibilities can be allocated to the other parent without them being present.
Emergency parental responsibilities are only granted when a child’s health or life is in danger. Courts do not handle disputes about parents refusing to obey court orders on an emergency basis unless someone’s life is in danger. In order to file for emergency parental responsibilities and receive said responsibilities, you will need to show that:
- The other parent is abusing your child.
- The other parent is disregarding your child’s safety.
- The other parent has a substance abuse or mental health issue that endangers the child.
- The other parent is attempting to or has taken your child out of state or county.
- The other parent is attempting to or has abducted your child.
If a judge grants you emergency parental responsibilities, then you may receive immediate sole allocation of your child, but on a temporary basis. In serious cases, law enforcement may step in to enforce the emergency allocation order. After ensuring your child is safe and reviewing the available evidence, the family court may then issue a final allocation order that limits the other parent’s parenting time or responsibilities.
Emergency parental responsibilities are only granted in the most serious of family law cases, often involving abuse, neglect, or reckless behavior. In any case, you need strong legal counsel on your side to ensure your rights are protected. At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we understand how difficult it is to file or fight an emergency motion. Since 1988, our Chicago family law attorneys have fought for clients in numerous contentious family law cases. We understand the stakes and can use all of our resources to advocate for your best interests. If you need assistance receiving emergency parental responsibilities or fighting an emergency court order, contact us at (312) 332-2915.
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