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Latchkey kid to custody modification

Gone are the days when we could leave our children alone for an hour while we run to the store. Parents no longer feel completely comfortable about letting their children play alone outside, go for a bike ride or come home to an empty house. True, we don't live in as safe of a world as we wish we did, but what happens when parents do everything in their power to protect their children but also have to work to provide for their children? When a child of divorce lives with a parent who works, does his latchkey lifestyle warrant a custody modification?

It is becoming increasingly less common to have one parent stay at home with the children during the marriage. Understandably, it is even less common for a parent to stay at home or even work from home once divorced. So when working parents must leave their children at home, either after school or during a summer day alone, should the other parent seek modification? While each situation is different, the fact still remains that child custody and modifications are always done with the best interest of the child in mind. Whether or not one parent agrees with the family court, doesn't necessarily matter. If the court doesn't see an issue, there is no issue.

That being said, for parents that wish to modify child custody because their child is left unsupervised or has 'latchkey' status while with the other parent, the best thing to do is seek the counsel of a trusted family law attorney. With their help and knowledge of the law, parents can stay well informed of what is considered by family court as neglect versus what needs to be done in order to provide for the child.

Common sense would tell us that children should be given shelter, food, water, a bathroom and way to contact help if the need arises. If these things are provided, and the child is of an age, either legally allowed to be home alone or seen as adequate by the family court, the other parent may have a heck of a fight for modification on their hands. However, stranger things have happened. It is always beneficial to have an understanding of expectations when it comes to home alone time between both parents. If no such agreement can be made, it might be time to contact an attorney.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
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Barrington, IL 60010

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