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Parent violating a visitation order? Don’t stand for it!

If the the other parent is violating a visitation order, you can take action to protect your rights to see your child. If you are having a problem with visitation interference, contact me, Chicago, Evanston and Schaumburg child custody lawyer David Wolkowitz. I may be able to help. Further, you might want to see my previous posts entitled “Court orders: Get them enforced!” and “The crime of visitation interference in Illinois.”

There are several things you should know about the violation of a visitation order:

Future violations:

If you have reason to believe the other parent is going to violate an order in the future, you can have your lawyer file a “motion to compel.” A motion to compel is essentially an order in which the court restates that the other parent should follow a previous court order. For instance, you have visitation with your child next weekend, and the other parent emails you “I’m going to take our child out of town next weekend and there is nothing you can do about it,” that would be sufficient justification for filing a motion to compel. In order words, since the other parent threatened not to follow an order, you may be able to get a court order which essentially repeats the a previous order must be followed. Why the redundancy? If the other parent violates the order even after a motion to compel, then court will probably take an extra-harsh view of the violation.

Contempt of court for violating a court order:

When judges issue court orders, they expect them to be followed. When parties don’t follow court orders, the judges get mad. And when judges get mad, the parent that has violated the order can be punished.

If any court order is violated, including a visitation order, a lawyer can attempt to have the violating party held in contempt of court. For instance, if a court order designates that on a certain holiday the child is to be with Mom, but Dad refuses to turn over the child, then the court could hold Dad in contempt.

The good news is that if someone is held in contempt of court, the court can require that person to pay the attorney’s fees the innocent parent incurred in trying to enforce the court order. In other words, the person who violated the court order can be made to pay the bill of the parent trying to enforce the order.

For a more detailed explanation of contempt of court, you may wish to read my post “Court orders: Get them enforced!.”

Visitation interference in Illinois:

Previously, I wrote a post titled “The crime of visitation interference in Illinois.” Some lawyers like to publicize the fact that interfering with visitation can be a crime in Illinois. But as I noted in my post, it is difficult to have a parent prosecuted for that crime.

Instead, a parent who has had his or her visitation interfered with can file a petition for a finding of unlawful visitation interference. At it’s most basic, visitation interference where one parent consistently and habitually deprives or obstructs the other parent’s parenting time.

What to do if an Illinois child visitation order is being violated:

The best thing to do if you are having problems with your visitation is to contact me, Illinois child visitation lawyer David Wolkowitz. I will take a look at the facts of your case, and advise you regarding my preception of the strength of your case and the likely outcome.

Since I understand that it can be difficult to schedule time with a lawyer, it is possible for us to meet near your location, and I offer evening and weekend consultations. To find out more about how I meet with clients, you might view my posts titled “Yes, I’m a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney” or “Yes, I’m an Evanston Divorce Attorney!

The violation of visitation orders and interference with visitation is serious. If either one is happening to you, it benefits you to act quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get the results you want.

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).