Help! I Need My Co-Parent to Help Shoulder the Responsibilities.
There may come a time when you are unable to be present for all your parenting time, especially in uncertain times (possibly, during a pandemic when children are home e-learning and you need to be working), and will need your co-parent to pick up some of the slack. But how do you get your co-parent to step up? Most likely, you are in one of two common scenarios:
1. You are allocated a majority of the parenting time.
2. Your co-parent just does not exercise all of his/her allocated parenting time shifting some of his/her responsibility onto you.
If you are allocated a majority of the parenting time, there are a couple of options for you, including seeking to modify the parenting time schedule pursuant to Sections 610.5 and 602.7 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act as it is in the child’s best interest for the other parent to provide for the child’s care when you are unable. Alternatively, you could seek to have your coparent provide additional financial support (i.e, paying for child care) so that you can obtain proper care for your child when you are busy at work or otherwise unavailable to care for your child.
If you are in the other boat, and your co-parent is not following the parenting plan, you can request that the court enforce your parenting plan. Section 607.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows a court to among other remedies require a parent to post a cash bond if he/she is not complying with a parenting plan to help ensure future compliance. Also, Section 607.5 allows a court to order the non-complying parent to pay the other parent’s increased expenses incurred as a result of the violation of the parenting plan (which does include reasonable attorney’s fees incurred seeking the court’s enforcement of the parenting plan).
If you find yourself needing additional help, do not suffer in silence. Take the time to discuss your options with a member of our team here at Sefton Kelly Family Law to determine what makes the most sense for you and your family. We are to help!
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