Emergency Order of Modification of Parenting Judgement Related to Stay-at-Home Order in Domestic Violence Case

Highland Park, IL – April 16, 2020 – Rebecca Weininger, Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice at the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (the Clinic), successfully obtained an emergency order in a domestic violence action related to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home Order (the Order). Weininger argued that one parent’s failure to abide by the Order while exercising parenting time with the couples’ minor child constitutes an emergency that the family court should consider and puts the child at risk, specifically the possible exposure to COVID-19. Disobeying the Order with a minor child violates the Illinois Domestic Violence Act and the parties’ parenting order. The Court agreed, granted the emergency motion, and entered an order requiring both parents to abide by Executive Order No. 8 effective immediately.

Client is the divorced mother of one child. Client believed her son’s life was at risk, as the child’s father was not adhering to the Order. Client came to the Clinic for the first time on April 6, 2020. Judge D. Christopher Lombardo, 19th Judicial Circuit Court at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, IL, heard the case.

“Our client fully entrusted her son’s father to follow the Governor’s Order. When it became clear that her son’s life was in danger, she turned to the Clinic for help,” stated Weininger. “It is critical that each of us does our part to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate that this ruling will provide the safety and security that our client and her son deserve and makes a statement about the critical importance of the precautions that we have all been asked to take in this fast-evolving health crisis.”

The Clinic is an essential service. Based on public health guidance to limit gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Clinic is no longer seeing clients or guests at the office but is scheduling individual and family phone appointments for intakes, follow-up meetings, and court appointments.