Judge orders Urlacher to class

Attorney comments about the case.

Bears linebacker, his son's mother both must participate

By Lolly Bowean Tribune staff reporter Published July 12, 2007

A Will County judge Wednesday ordered Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and the mother of his 2-year-old son to take a parenting class to learn how to deal with each other.

The action came after a three-hour court hearing in which Urlacher and Tyna Robertson testified about their ongoing dispute over transportation of their son to scheduled parental visits.

The boy lives with his mother in Joliet but has scheduled visits with his father at his Lake Forest home 62 miles away. The parents have been ordered to share the driving and meet about halfway between their homes.

The hearing is the latest in a series on the same issue but has attracted wider attention because a court filing by Robertson listed numerous text messages sent by Urlacher using profane language. Circuit Judge Dinah Archambault said she didn't want to hear about the text messages unless they were specifically about the parental visits.

Urlacher is seeking contempt charges against Robertson and has accused her of violating a court order to deliver their son to a tollway oasis so he can pick the boy up for visits.

After listening to arguments, the judge said she would make a decision at a later date but ordered both of them to take the parenting class before they appear in court again in September. The three-hour class is required in such cases under Will County law, and Archambault said she thought it could benefit both parties. Urlacher and Robertson do not have to take the class together.

Urlacher's attorneys argued he has missed at least four overnight visits with his son because Robertson did not drop him off. To make up for the time missed, Urlacher wants four overnight visits with his son and for Robertson to be ordered to deliver the boy directly to his Lake Forest home. He also wants Robertson to pay attorney fees of $15,000.

Robertson's attorney, said her client never purposely missed visits and that Urlacher just wants to be accommodated and have his son driven to him when he wants. The two don't communicate, except by text messages, he said. And there have been times when Urlacher showed up late or canceled at the last minute and forced Robertson to adjust her schedule because he had something else to do.

Urlacher's attorney objected to some of the most profane text messages being presented by Robertson's attorney because they were part of an incomplete conversation. Robertson's attorney argued some of the messages showed Urlacher's attitude toward his child's mother.

At one point, Urlacher's attorney, Anita M. Ventrelli, read a message from his phone in which Robertson accused him of paying off a "racist judge" to get out of driving to Joliet.