In Illinois, child custody is officially known as allocation of parental responsibilities. Under state law, parents have a legal duty to abide by the terms of a parental responsibilities order or agreement. If your ex is violating the order, you have legal options available. Here, our Naperville, IL child custody lawyers explain what you can do to protect yourself and your child.
Document Child Custody Violations
Parents should carefully document any violations of a custody order or agreement. If you are required to escalate the matter, this documentation will serve as an important form of evidence.
To start, write down exactly what occurred and why you believe it is a violation of your parental rights. For example, if your ex is not returning your children at the appropriate time, record exactly how late they were. Also, preserve any relevant communications via text message or email.
The more documentation you have regarding a violation of the allocation of parental responsibilities, the easier it will be to take enforcement action.
Review and Consider Your Options
If your ex is breaching your custody rights, you have several different options available. What tactic is best suited for your case will depend on the specific nature of the situation. Though, as an overarching rule, it is best to first address the matter at the lowest possible level — then escalate action — should violations continue. Here is a basic overview of options:
1. Talk to your former partner. Make sure they know and understand what they are doing is a violation of your parental rights. In some cases, a calm and informal conversation will be enough.
2. Consider mediation. If the custody violation is related to a deeper or more fundamental problem or disagreement, it may be best to try to resolve the matter through mediation.
4. Send an official legal notice. An Illinois custody lawyer can send a formal notice explaining the precise nature of the violation and noting your intention to take legal action if the issue is not immediately rectified.
5. File a complaint. If custody/visitation violations continue after your attorney sends a formal notice, it may be time to go to court. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may be entitled to a modification of the parental responsibilities or your ex may even be found in contempt.
Be Proactive: Do Not Let Violations Persist
It is imperative parents take proactive measures to enforce their custody and visitation rights. The longer you allow a violation of the parental responsibilities order/agreement to persist unaddressed, the more difficult and complicated it becomes to take effective enforcement action. Early intervention can help produce the desired outcome. By immediately addressing the custody violations, you may be able to resolve the problem more effectively.
Call Our Illinois Child Custody Lawyer Today
At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois family law attorneys have extensive experience handling a full range of child custody cases. If your former partner is violating the child custody order/agreement, we can help. For a free, confidential consultation, please contact our legal team now. With law offices in Naperville, Aurora and Bolingbrook, we represent parents throughout the region, including in Joliet, Wheaton, Schaumburg, and Downers Grove.