Protecting Children in Divorce
Kate called our grantee, Chicago Legal Clinic (CLC), seeking help with her divorce. She and her husband, who have three children, had been separated for going on two years. They had been working things out reasonably well regarding support and parenting time, but then her husband, who had been diagnosed with multiple mental health concerns, stopped taking his medicine. His behavior became erratic and he began to act out in ways that were disturbing to the children.
Kate wanted to begin divorce proceedings and address the issue of her children’s well-being when they were with their father. She wanted him to continue being a part of their lives, but wanted him to also address his health issues.
CLC helped establish a temporary child support order and began working with the husband’s attorney to address the issues related to his mental health and the children. The children began counseling and a temporary parenting time schedule was worked out by agreement. The husband then moved out of state and lost his job, which raised new financial issues, and delayed the resolution of the case.
However, CLC was able to ensure that Kate received the unemployment dependent’s allotment and, despite the fact that her husband stopped participating in the court case, sought and obtained a judgment of divorce that granted him substantial parenting time.
Ultimately, access to legal aid ensured Kate and her children have the stability and financial security they need.