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Enforcing a Visitation Order

Posted on in Visitation

DuPage County family law attorney, visitation orderWhen a child is involved in a divorce, one of the most important aspects of the final decree is child custody and visitation rights. However, sometimes a parent will not abide by a visitation schedule, and enforcement of the visitation order becomes necessary. The law provides a way for a parent with visitation rights to enforce the order and see his or her child.

Petitioning the Court 

One option for enforcing a visitation order is to mediate the issue with a neutral third party. However, if mediation is unsuccessful or not an option in your situation then you can petition the court for enforcement of your visitation order. Illinois law, specifically 750 ILCS 5/607.1, dictates the procedure for petitioning the court to enforce your right to visitation as well as the penalties involved for a violation of a visitation order. 

The petition is called a “Rule to Show Cause” because the custodial parent must prove to the court why he or she did not violate the visitation order. In addition to filing the petition, notice of the hearing date must also be sent to the other parent. If the other parent does not arrive for the hearing, the judge may attempt to compel him or her to arrive through a court order or by finding the parent in civil contempt of court.

If the custodial parent does arrive for the hearing, he or she must prove to the court that he or she did not violate the order or did not willfully violate the visitation order. The judge will hear all of the evidence regarding the petition from both the custodial and non-custodial parent before making a ruling on the visitation enforcement. 

Enforcement Options 

Once both parents have had the opportunity to present their claims to the court, the judge will determine whether a violation has taken place. If the judge determines that no violation has occurred, then the case is dismissed. If the judge decides that the visitation order was violated but with good cause, enforcement can come in the form of a modified visitation schedule, supervised visitation with a third party, make up visitation time with the noncustodial parent, counseling or mediation. 

If the judge finds that the custodial parent willingly disobeyed the visitation order, then the judge may find the parent in contempt of court. This can come with penalties such as heavy fines, counseling, and a jail term of up to six months. Oftentimes, a judge will allow the custodial parent to avoid jail time if he or she complies with the visitation order; however, if a violation happens more than once then the judge will most likely send the parent to jail. 

Our Attorneys Can Help 

Our DuPage County family law attorneys understand how frustrating it can be when a parent does not abide by a visitation order, and we are here to help. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, our family law attorneys have helped clients throughout the Chicago area and western suburbs. Call or contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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