Is Your Allocated Parenting Time Being Withheld? You Do Have Rights
In most cases, children benefit greatly from having the financial and emotional support of both biological parents. Unfortunately, there are some cases in which one parent interferes with the time allocated to the other parent. If this denial is in direct violation of a court order, the parent that is missing out on time with their child has the right to seek enforcement through the court. If you are being denied parenting time with your child, the following information can help you determine what to do.
Visitation Interference is Considered a Crime in Illinois
If you took legal steps to receive legal parenting time with your child and your time is being interfered with (late drop-offs or returns, failure to show, etc.), then the denying or “interfering” parent is in contempt of a court order. This gives you certain legal rights, and it allows you to seek assistance from law enforcement and the family court for enforcement of the order. Unfortunately, these matters can be difficult to prove. Essentially, it is your word against the other parent's. For this reason, anyone who is being wrongfully denied parenting time should seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
Civil Court Actions in Visitation Interference Cases
When a parent first brings a request for enforcement of parenting time, the courts will attempt to resolve the matter with problem-solving measures. These measures may include (but are not limited to):
- Revising the existing parenting time order to clear up any possible confusion or issues that may be hindering timely drop-offs and pick-ups;
Ordering one or both parents to attend individual or family counseling to work through their issues;
Ordering the offending parent (or sometimes both) to parenting classes at the expense of the offending parent;
Requiring the offending parent to pay a cash bond to encourage future compliance;
Ordering that the offending parent give the denied parent “make up” time of the same type and duration; and
Civil fines and/or reimbursement for the denied parent's expenses (attorney's fees, babysitter fees, after school late pick-up fees, court fees, etc.).
If the offending parent continues to deny the other parent of their allocated parenting time, criminal charges may be pursued. Furthermore, the offending parent could stand to lose some of their own parenting time if unlawful visitation interference persists. In extreme cases, such as those involving abuse of the child, the courts may order supervised visits or move to terminate their legal rights. These cases require the assistance of an aggressive family law attorney who is willing to protect the child's safety, rights, and best interests above all else.
Contact Our Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorneys for Help with Your Case
At MKFM Law, we understand the complex and sensitive nature of parenting time cases. We also know that not every situation is what it seems at first glance. Dedicated to protecting your child, and the time you should be spending with them, we will take swift and aggressive action to enforce and/or modify your parenting time order. Contact our Wheaton, IL family law attorneys for help with your case. Call 630-665-7300 today.