Legal Information: Illinois

Custody

Updated: 
September 19, 2017

Can a parent who committed domestic violence or sexual abuse of a child get parental responsibilities or parenting time?

Domestic violence:
Possibly.  When considering whether or not to award parenting time (visitation) and significant decision-making responsibilities (custody), a judge will consider any physical violence or threat of physical violence and any acts of "abuse" by the parent against the child or a member of the child's household.*  Abuse, for these purposes, is defined as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.**  However, there are also many other factors that a judge will consider when making a decision.  Therefore, it is possible that a parent who has committed violence or abuse will get parenting time (visitation) and significant decision-making responsibilities.

Sexual abuse:
When considering whether or not to award parenting time (visitation) and significant decision-making responsibilities (custody), the judge will consider if a parent is a sex offender.  The judge will also consider the exact nature of the offense and what, if any, treatment the parent has completed.***  However, again, this is just one factor among many that will be considered.   Note: If a parent was convicted of any offense involving an illegal sex act committed against a minor, s/he cannot get parenting time while incarcerated or while on parole, probation, conditional discharge, periodic imprisonment, or mandatory supervised release for a felony offense until the parent complies with whatever terms and conditions the judge may order.  The judge will take into account the exact nature of the offense and what, if any, treatment in which the parent successfully participated.****

* 750 ILCS 5/602.7(c)(11),(14); 750 ILCS 5/602.5(c)(12),(13)
** 750 ILCS 5/600(a); 750 ILCS 60/103(1)
*** 750 ILCS 5/602.7(c)(15); 750 ILCS 5/602.5(c)(14)
**** 750 ILCS 5/603.10(e)