Child custody and visitation disputes can last throughout the entire childhoods of your children. When one parent refuses to honor the other parent's rights, both the parent and the children suffer. If your co-parent is not honoring your rights to visitation, there are ways to enforce your rights.
How You Can Enforce Your Visitation Rights
Illinois law provides ways for you to enforce your visitation rights. One way to work out the problem is through a process known as mediation. Mediation is a type of dispute resolution process where you and your co-parent sit down with a neutral party who will try to help you come to some sort of resolution without having to go to court. Our office can represent you in a mediation, or we can act as the mediator, assuming we have not previously represented either you or your co-parent.
If mediation does not work, you may instead choose to go to court and have the judge enforce your visitation rights. This would involve filing a petition saying that your co-parent is not following your visitation order. This petition also asks the judge to make the other parent come to court and explain him or herself. If you can show that they are violating the visitation order, and your co-parent cannot show good cause for doing so, then your co-parent can be held in contempt of court. This can result in the co-parent being fined or, in extreme cases, even put in jail. If the judge finds that your co-parent has violated the visitation order, but that he or she has a good reason for doing so, then the judge may modify the visitation order, order some sort of make-up visitation, or order counseling to try to fix the problem.
Do Not Quit Paying Child Support
Many frustrated parents who are being denied their visitation rights respond by stopping their child support payments. Do not do this. As unfair as it may seem, your child support obligation is wholly separate from your visitation rights. If you quit making child support payments you may face contempt or even wind up in jail in the worst-case scenario. Additionally, failing to make your child support will ultimately hurt the well-being of your child.
Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C.
If your co-parent is interfering with your visitation rights, you will need the help of dedicated Illinois family law lawyers. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. at 630-665-7676. We can help you enforce the existing visitation order, or help you seek out a new visitation schedule, depending on your situation.