If you have children whom you love and adore, it’s terrifying to think that you could lose parental responsibility of your children. However, this can happen in Illinois when certain circumstances are present.

If you’re worried about losing parental responsibility — or if you’re a parent advocating for sole responsibility of your kids and want to file a petition to remove the other parent’s status — you might want to learn about the reasons for losing parental responsibility below.

Neglect, domestic violence, abuse, criminal activity and drugs

One or more of these issues could result in the loss of parental responsibility for a parent:

Abuse and domestic violence: There are many forms of abuse, including psychological and physical. Parents who have a history of abuse against their children and others in the family could lose their right to be a parent.

Neglect: A parent who neglects his or her child in serious and dangerous ways is not likely a fit candidate to serve as a parent: A court could remove his or her parental status.

Crime and drugs: Courts will want to make sure that children are raised in lawful environments free of criminal activity. The use and possession of illicit drugs as well as criminal activity could be grounds for removing the child from the parent.

Substance abuse: Parents with serious and proven alcohol and drug addiction problems might not be able to keep parental responsibility of their children when challenged.

The violation of a court order

Violating court orders will put a parent in contempt of court. If those court orders related to parental responsibility — for example, a violation of the parenting agreement that is deemed to be parental child abduction — it could cause a parent to lose parental responsibility. In most cases, these violations need to be repeated for an Illinois court to react in such a severe manner.

Learn more about parental responsibility laws in Illinois

As with any legal matter, the more you understand your legal rights and options pertaining to your parental responsibility dispute, the better you’ll be able to navigate your case and defend your legal rights.