Parenting Time Violations
Often times one of the most time-consuming aspects of a divorce is finalizing a parenting agreement, and more specifically, finalizing the parenting time plan between each parent and the children of that now dissolved marriage. Parties spend considerable time and money to set a schedule they believe will work best for their children and allow them to spend as much quality time as they can with their children. After all that effort is expended, one of the most frustrating issues after a divorce is when the other parent does not follow their end of the parenting plan.
Parenting time violations include consistently late pick-ups and drop-offs or skipping parenting time altogether. A violation may also entail keeping the children for extended periods of time (not given to them in the agreement) or taking the children for part of their time but returning them early without warning to the receiving parent. All of the above not only cause confusion for the children but also frustrate the co-parents schedule and may damage any trust the co- parents have with each other.
Illinois has a specific statute to remedy parenting time violations, entitled “Abuse of Allocated Parenting Time.” Within the statute are the various options the courts have to hold the violating parent responsible for their non-compliance with the parenting time plan. Those options include fines or attorney’s fees, make-up parenting time, loss of future parenting time, a requirement for the violating parent to attend a parental education program, court ordered counseling, or even modification of the existing parenting time plan altogether.
Violations of parenting time are especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic and parents are often unsure of their rights when another parent refuses to adhere to the existing parenting plan. Parents should contact Sefton Kelly Family Law to seek assistance from an attorney familiar with the Abuse of Allocation Parenting Time statute, in order to determine their best options regarding past or ongoing parenting time violations.
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