One of the most complicated issues for parents seeking a legal separation, divorce, or when a child’s parents are not married is who will have custody over the child. From addressing with whom the child will live to visitation schedules, receiving a child custody order that is in your favor can be a complex process. And often times, even when a court does grant a child custody order, your child’s other parent may not follow it as is required per the law. If your child’s other parent has violated your child custody order, you have the right to legal recourse. Here is what you need to know about enforcing a child custody order in Illinois:
Remind the Other Parent of the Terms of the Custody Agreement
In some cases, the violation of a custody agreement may be accidental. If you are on speaking terms with your child’s other parent, it is within your best interest to gently remind the other parent of the terms of your custody agreement prior to taking legal action. If the parent refuses to comply with the custody agreement, you can remind them that failure to comply may have legal ramifications.
Contempt of Court
If your child’s parent still refuses to comply with a custody order, you can seek legal action to have the parent held in contempt of court. Contempt of court means that a person has violated a court order, and a contempt of court proceeding is one of the most common ways to enforce a child custody order. Ramifications for being held in contempt of court may include a fine, jail time, or both.
During a contempt of court proceeding, you will need to present evidence that the child’s other parent violated a court custody order. Furthermore, remember that a person can only be held in contempt of court if actually violating a court order; the violation of a verbal agreement between you and your child’s other parent, if not also supported by a court order, will likely carry few legal consequences.
When Your Child Is Removed from the State
If your child is removed from the state, enforcing a court order is slightly more complicated, but certainly still possible. When one parent removes a child from the state in violation of a court order, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) provides Illinois with the jurisdiction to enforce a child custody agreement. If your child has been kidnapped by his or her other parent, you have the right to:
- Call the police;
- File criminal charges; and
- Hire an attorney.
How an Attorney Can Help You to Enforce a Child Custody Order
A violation of a child custody order can be an extremely emotional and challenging thing to deal with. And while it may be difficult to do, bringing contempt or criminal charges against your child’s other parent may be the only way to ensure that a child custody order is enforced. To help you determine the best course of action, contact the experienced Lombard child custody attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. today. We understand that the enforcement of a child custody order is a pressing issue, and are ready to talk with you now. Dial 630-961-0060 to learn more today.