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Visitation Interference in Illinois

Posted on in Visitation

DuPage County parenting time attorneys, visitation interferenceAs of January 1, 2016, Illinois made many major changes to its family law code. One of these changes was to move away from the concepts of custody and visitation and to move towards division of decision making responsibility and parenting time. While the change seems more semantic than anything else thus far, the new language does indicate changing values in family law.

“Parenting time” acknowledges that relationships with both parents are important to children and while one parent may have more time with the child, the child deserves the right to spend meaningful time with the other parent as well.

After the divorce and after parenting time has been apportioned by the court, there still may be issues that arise. An unfortunately common issue is that one parent may not want the other parent to see the children and will deny the opportunity for the court ordered parenting time that he or she, and the children, deserve. If your ex spouse is denying you visitation time with your children, there are steps that you can take to preserve this time and enforce your rights.

Stay Calm

It can be incredibly frustrating for one parent to be denied his or right to see the children. However, it is important to stay as calm as possible and to keep a level head. It is illegal for your parenting time to be interfered with and there are certain legal remedies for this; however, you want to make sure you do not do anything impermissible in the meantime.

If it is possible to talk civilly with the other parent, it can be best to work out any parenting time disputes with the other parent directly if you can. Both parents need to remain flexible and the court may look poorly upon one parent accusing the other parent of interference because of a planned vacation or other reasonable modification request. However, if there is a meaningful interference with parenting time then you should seek assistance as soon as possible so that the court has a sense of urgency.

Court Intervention

Visitation interference is prohibited by both Illinois criminal law and civil law. You will want to decide which law to choose, as there are pros and cons to both.

  • Civil Law Intervention – If you choose to use civil law to get relief from visitation interference, you will almost definitely want to talk with an attorney to file a contempt motion. The first official step will be in court. One of the benefits of using civil law is that you can ask for a wide variety of relief, such as a change of the visitation schedule, making up missed parenting time, and other forms of relief.

  • Criminal Law Intervention – If you choose to use the criminal law then you will need to get the police involved. The police need to file a report with the court about the violation. The first two visitation interferences are a minor violation, but penalties increase as instances occur. The third incidence is a Class A Misdemeanor and can carry jail time with conviction.

DuPage County Parenting Time Attorneys

Remember that interference with parenting time can also include a child being over scheduled so that you cannot have your parenting time, or other indirect ways of being prevented from exercising visitation. Parenting time is one of the most important rights that parents have and if you are denied this right you should talk to our compassionate DuPage County parenting time attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC for help.


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