Legal Memorandum: Finding neglect for one child supports the finding for another minor in which the parent is responsible for

Issue: Under Illinois law, does a finding of the neglect of one child serve to support the finding of neglect of another minor child that parent is also responsible for?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: ; Neglect; Child; Minor; Parent; Welfare; Environment; Best Interest
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

Neglect includes the minor being subjected to an environment that is injurious to his welfare. [statref]705 ILCS 405/2-3(1)(b) (West 2010)[/statref]; In re A.W., 231 Ill.2d 92, 102 (2008). Proof of the neglect of one minor is evidence regarding the abuse of another minor for whom the respondent is responsible. [statref]705 ILCS 405/2-18(3) (West 2010)[/statref]; A.W., 231 Ill.2d at 102-103. Neglect is generally considered as the failure by a responsible adult to exercise the care demanded under the circumstances. In re S.S., 313 Ill.App.3d 121, 126 (2000). It includes both the willful and the unintentional disregard of one’s parental duty. S.S., 313 Ill.App.3d at 126. Where the court finds only one parent was responsible for the circumstances resulting in the neglect finding, the other parent is entitled to custody over a third party if he is otherwise fit, able and willing to care for the minor. S.S., 313 Ill.App.3d at 131.

The trial court’s findings regarding neglect will not be reversed on appeal unless they are against the manifest weight of the evidence. In re R.R., 409 Ill.App.3d 1041, 1045 (2011).

After the trial court adjudicates a child as neglected, it then determines whether the minor must be made a ward of the court because the parent is unfit to care for him. [statref]705 ILCS 405/2-21(2), 2-27(1) (West 2012)[/statref]; Arthur H., 212 Ill.2d at 464. The trial court considers whether the health, safety and best interest of the minor require that he […]

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