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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Oak Park Divorce and Parental Alienation Lawyer

Berwyn child custody dispute attorney for parental alienation 

Attorneys For High-Conflict Child Custody Cases in Cook County

Ending a long-term relationship is rarely an easy or simple process, and parents will likely struggle with an avalanche of legal and financial issues when they choose to divorce. This process can become even more difficult when there is a great deal of conflict between spouses, and it is important to be aware of the possibility that one parent may attempt to influence their children's attitudes toward their former spouse. In cases involving parental alienation, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

The lawyers at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. have more than 95 years of combined experience in divorce and family law. We understand how to resolve disputes in a high conflict divorce while protecting your parental rights and working to help you reach an outcome that will allow your family to thrive.

How Parental Alienation Can Affect Child Custody

According to Illinois' divorce laws, both parents are presumed to be fit, and they are both entitled to share in parental responsibility and have reasonable parenting time with their children. However, a court may place restrictions on parenting time if there is evidence that the children's physical or emotional health would be at risk while they are in a parent's care.

Sadly, there are many cases in which one parent attempts to influence the court's decisions about child custody by alienating their children against the other parent. There are many ways they may do so, including:

  • Disparaging the other parent in the children's presence.
  • Laying blame on the other parent for the breakup of the marriage or any financial difficulties the family is experiencing.
  • Engaging in heated arguments with the other parent in front of the children.
  • Failing to drop children off for scheduled visitation times or refusing to allow the other parent to exercise their scheduled parenting time.
  • Refusing to allow the other parent to communicate with children or telling children the other parent does not want to see them or speak with them.
  • Failing to provide the other parent with access to children's school or medical records.

Whether the alienating parent genuinely believes that their children are at risk, is acting out of a desire to harm their children's relationship with the other parent, or has simply let their emotions get the best of them, attempts to interfere with the other parent's parenting time without proper cause can result in serious consequences. The interfering parent's decision-making responsibilities may be reduced or eliminated, or more parenting time may be allocated to the other parent during the divorce case.

In many cases, parental alienation occurs in conjunction with issues related to a parent's mental health or substance abuse. If a parent who suffers from mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction interferes with the other parent's parenting time, they may have their own parenting time restricted. In some cases, they may be required to abstain from drugs or alcohol during their parenting time, or they may be required to have supervision present.

Contact a Chicago Parental Alienation Attorney

You will want to do everything you can to protect your children's best interests during your divorce, and this includes making sure they will be able to have a good relationship with both parents. If your ex-spouse is attempting to harm your relationship with your children, our attorneys can help you understand your legal options and advocate for your parental rights throughout the divorce process. Contact us at 708-480-9651 to set up a free consultation today.

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