The restriction of parenting time used to be something that had a very high burden of proof in Illinois. With the enactment of the newly revised 2016 version of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, you now only have to prove that the other parent “by a preponderance of the evidence that a parent engaged in any conduct that seriously endangered the child’s mental, moral, or physical health or that significantly impaired the child’s emotional development.” Once a finding such as this is made by a Court, after a hearing, there are now outlined in the Statute specific remedies for same, such as:
(1) A reduction, elimination or other adjustment in the parent’s decision-making responsibilities or parenting time, or both;
(2) (2) supervision of parenting time
(3) Exchange of the minor child between the parties through an intermediary or in a protected setting;
(4) Restraining communication with or proximity to the other parent or the child
(5) Requiring a parent to abstain from possessing o consuming alcohol or non-prescribed drugs while exercising parenting time and within a specified period immediately preceding the exercise of parenting time
(6) Restricting presence of specific people while a parent is exercising time
(7) Requiring parent to post bond to secure the return of the child following the parent’s exercise of parenting time
(8) Requiring the parent to complete treatment for abuse, drug or alcohol abuse or other behavior that is the basis of restriction;
(9) Any other constraints or conditions that the court deems necessary to provide for the child’s safety or welfare.
These provisions are just some of a sampling of things the Court can order a parent to do before their parenting time and/or parental responsibilities will be restored. However, the Court has some discretion under number 9 in the statute or order the parent to do things that are not specifically set forth in the statute, so long as the court deems it necessary for the child’s safety or welfare. This statute is very useful in situations where abuse or endangerment is occurring and seeks to protect minor children more strongly than the previous section regarding same.