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Komie and Associates

Chicago Custody and Child Abuse Attorney

Springfield child abuse allegations divorce attorney

Illinois Divorce Lawyer Representing Parents in Custody Disputes Involving Allegations of Child Abuse

When parents end their marriage in divorce, the fight over the allocation of parental responsibilities (also known as child custody) can often turn ugly. In many cases, one parent will accuse the other of child abuse, which can make the divorce process much more complex, requiring the involvement of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), a guardian ad litem (GAL), and various medical and mental health experts.

Allegations of child abuse should be taken very seriously, and divorce cases involving these allegations require an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of matrimonial law and criminal law and has knowledge of the fields of emergency medicine, pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, and social work. Attorney Stephen M. Komie has extensive experience handling a wide variety of child issues, including serving as a delegate to the Hague International Convention on Child Abduction. This unique perspective gives him the knowledge required to provide effective legal representation in divorce cases involving child abuse.

Understanding Child Abuse Allegations

When a parent files for divorce, Illinois law automatically prohibits both parents from committing any acts of child abuse, harassment, or intimidation, and both parents are assumed to be fit and have rights to visitation, unless there is evidence that a child is in danger of harm while they are in the care of one of the parents.

If a parent believes that their child is being abused by the other parent, they can file a petition for temporary relief that asks to limit the other parent's visitation with their children. If a parent believes that their children are in immediate danger, they can ask the court to issue a temporary restraining order that addresses the perceived danger until the custody hearing takes place. This order may ask to restrict a parent's unsupervised visitation or place a no contact order on the parent.

If your spouse has accused you of child abuse, our attorneys can help you fight against imposing any parenting restrictions without a full evidentiary hearing. We will also attack any restrictions that are overly broad or which do not address the alleged danger to the child.

Investigating Claims of Child Abuse

During formal discovery in cases involving allegations of child abuse, it is important to gather evidence from a variety of sources, including interrogatories of any experts; depositions of children, teachers, doctors, social workers, and any other relevant witnesses; mental and physical examinations of children and parents; and medical reports.

Our attorneys will work to uncover the motivations behind allegations of child abuse and obtain a full understanding of the circumstances surrounding these allegations. We will investigate statements made by the child, physical evidence which corroborates or refutes these statements, and the child's susceptibility to leading questions.

Divorce Trials Involving Child Abuse

During a divorce trial involving allegations of child abuse, it is important for an attorney to understand when it is appropriate for a child to provide testimony, whether it is on the witness stand, on camera, or through hearsay. Our attorneys will work to have a child's testimony be given in open court, where the judge can observe the child's demeanor and behavior while making claims of abuse in the presence of the accused. We will ensure that any unreliable hearsay is not admissible, and we will thoroughly examine and cross-examine any other witnesses. Following the court's judgment, we can help you appeal the decision, if necessary.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

In cases involving allegations of child abuse, it is important for the court to appoint experts, obtain their opinions, and resolve the accusations as quickly as possible. Delays in reaching a resolution will increase the likelihood of the denial of justice for both abused individuals and the victims of false allegations.

If you are involved in a child custody dispute involving allegations of child abuse, you need a skilled, dedicated attorney who will protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your children's best interests in court. Contact the Illinois divorce attorneys of Komie and Associates today at 312-263-2800 to schedule a free consultation.

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