Cuffed hands through barsThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing specific circumstances in which a father may seek an emergency change in a child custody order in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post discussed when a co-parent’s alcohol abuse or alcoholism may create an emergency giving rise to a change in custody arrangements. An Illinois family court judge may consider

serious and repeated impairment in the presence of the child adequate grounds for an emergency change. In this article, I will discuss when a co-parent’s criminal activity may justify an emergency modification of custody. Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. If you need assistance in an emergency custody issue, contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights attorney.

When an Illinois judge will consider criminal activity an emergency for purposes of changing custody

For obvious reasons, when a parent is involved in criminal activity in the presence of a child, it can create a dangerous situation and a threat of imminent harm. Inherently dangerous criminal activities in the child’s presence, such as drug dealing or buying and selling stolen goods, will be adequate grounds for an emergency custody modification. Criminal or illegal activity that occurs outside of the child’s presence or is not inherently dangerous will also be scrutinized by the court. The judge will review the nature of the underlying crime and the parent’s criminal history to determine if the activity creates a dangerous situation for the child. For example, violent crimes, such as domestic violence, armed robbery, or assault and battery, may create a concern about the child’s safety. On the other hand, if a child’s mother is arrested for acquiring multiple unpaid parking tickets, this would not likely be considered an emergency situation in the court’s opinion. A court’s final determination will be based upon the specific facts of each case.

A Peoria, Illinois attorney can assist with the emergency custody change process

The initial step for a father seeking an emergency custody change is to file a Motion with the court. Given the urgent nature of these matters, the court will schedule an expedited hearing, typically after giving the other parent at least one day’s notice. The judge will review information presented at the initial hearing to decide whether custody should be changed on an emergency basis. In some cases, a judge may issue a temporary custody change order pending a future hearing to determine a more permanent arrangement. If the judge decides that no emergency exists, the Motion may be denied in its entirety and the matter closed. Alternatively, the court may decline to make a change immediately, but schedule a trial for a later date. When a parent has been arrested and incarcerated, the court will likely issue an emergency removal order pending the outcome of the criminal charges.

Custody matters can be emotional and highly contentious, particularly if a child’s well-being is at stake. My office is dedicated to assisting clients throughout the legal process. If you need assistance with a custody dispute, contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation with a fathers’ rights attorney. In addition to Peoria, I serve clients in the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.