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My Child was Injured on the Fourth of July – How Does This Impact My Illinois Parenting Plan?

Posted on in Child Custody and Support

Will County family law attorney, parenting plan, fireworks injury, parenting time orders, child injuriesFor the past few weeks, a small liquor store’s marquee sign delivered the following blessing to passersby: “May you have as many fingers on July 5th as you do on July 3rd.” As humorous as some may find such a message, the message presupposes a terrible reality: The Fourth of July holiday can be extremely dangerous for adults and children who play with or set off fireworks.

It is illegal for individuals to possess or use fireworks in Illinois, but other nearby states such as Indiana do not have such restrictions. If your child’s other parent lives in such a state, does that parent’s decision to possess or use fireworks around your child constitute bad parenting? Does an injury accident involving fireworks and your child provide any ground to adjust your parenting plan?

No Automatic Changes to a Parenting Plan for Fireworks Accidents

While Illinois family law courts are supposed to look after the “best interests of the child” (and one can certainly argue that allowing a child around fireworks may not be in that child’s best interests), courts realize and understand that injury accidents involving children can and do happen. Just because a child hurts him- or herself riding a bicycle, at an amusement park, or even while attending a Fourth of July fireworks display (public or private), this does not mean the supervising parent is an unfit parent and should have his or her rights terminated.

Before deciding how a fireworks injury accident will impact any visitation or parenting time orders, a court will look at:

  • The severity of the child’s injuries, including any emotional or mental harm the child experiences as a result of the injury;
  • Whether possession and/or use of fireworks is prohibited in the state or locality in which the accident occurred;
  • What steps the other parent took to prevent a fireworks-related injury from occurring and whether these steps appeared to be reasonably sufficient to protect the child from harm; and/or
  • What steps the parent took following the accident, including what steps the parent took to obtain emergency assistance for the child and to notify you of the injury.

A parent whose actions appear to be unreasonable under the circumstances—such as allowing a young toddler to play with a bottle rocket or keeping dangerous fireworks in an area easily accessible to children—may find that the court will question his or her judgment and ability to effectively parent the child.

Seek Help from a Will County Family Law Attorney Today

If your child suffers injuries this holiday or at any other time while in the presence of the child’s other parent, be prepared to take swift action with the help of an experienced Will County family law attorney from Robertson Legal Group, LLC. We work without delay to help you protect the health and wellbeing of your child. Contact our firm as soon as possible and let us help you safeguard your family.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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