Enforcement of Illinois Child Custody Orders
Or so you think, until your ex-spouse violates the visitation agreement, not once, not twice, but numerous times. Unfortunately, some parents continue to use their children long after the marriage has ended. If this is happening in your life, you need the guidance of an experienced Palatine child custody attorney.
Enforcing Child Custody in Illinois
The first step in any family dispute is to try and reach a compromise. If the other parent is willing, your attorney can help direct you a skilled family mediator. Mediation is non-binding, and either party is able to abandon the process at any time and pursue Court action. Not only does mediation save time and money, but both parties are generally more satisfied with an agreed-upon resolution, as opposed to a Court-ordered one. The Judge can also order both parties to attend mediation, and absent extreme circumstances, such as those involving domestic violence, or previous pursuit of legal action in the past to enforce visitation, it is always a good idea to utilize this option before proceeding to Court. A trained family mediator in Palatine can help guide you through the process.
If mediation is not an option (or if you tried and it failed), you will have to file a petition in Court to enforce visitation. Called a Petition for Rule to Show Cause, the offending parent must prove to the Court why he/she should not be held in contempt for failing to abide by the terms of the visitation agreement. The process can be as simple as filing the petition or may be an involved process that requires numerous pleadings, one or more Court dates or testimony.
If the Court finds that the ex-partner violated the agreement but had good reason, the Judge may:
- Modify the order to more clearly define the terms of the visitation;
- Order supervised visitation with a third-party to ensure terms are enforced (i.e., that the child is dropped off at the designated time); or
- Order additional visitation to make-up for the time missed due to the other parent’s failure to comply.
If the ex-partner did not have good reason for violating the agreement, the Judge can impose a fine, mandatory counseling or possibly even jail time.
Palatine Child Custody Enforcement Attorney
If your ex-partner has violated the terms of your child custody order, you need an attorney who will aggressively seek a solution while remaining sensitive to the fact that creating further animosity between the parties is detrimental to the child. Palatine child custody attorney Nicholas W. Richardson is a skilled negotiator, trained mediator, and tireless advocate for his clients, and will work to obtain the best outcome while at the same time striving to preserve family peace. Contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., today to begin discussing how he can help enforce your Illinois child custody order.