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Enforcing and Modifying the Terms of an Illinois Parenting Agreement

Posted on in Child Custody

Will County family law attorneyFor divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois, a parenting plan is crucial to establish the terms of the co-parenting relationship and ensure that the children’s best interests are protected. Like many other family law orders, the terms of a parenting plan are legally binding once they are approved by the court. Parents should be sure to abide by them, both for their children’s sake and in order to avoid legal consequences. If your child’s other parent has violated your parenting agreement, you can take action to enforce the order.

Parenting Plan Violations in Illinois

Illinois parenting plans must be fairly comprehensive when it comes to addressing parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and communication between co-parents. As such, there are many ways that a parent could violate the terms of the agreement. For example:

  • Keeping the children beyond the end of their scheduled parenting time

  • Refusing to care for the children during their scheduled parenting time

  • Interfering with the other parent’s scheduled parenting time

  • Making important decisions about the children without consulting the other parent

  • Withholding important information about the children from the other parent

  • Moving to a new residence without notifying the other parent, especially if the move is considered a relocation

  • Failing to offer the other parent the chance to care for the children if the agreement includes the right of first refusal

  • Violating a parenting time restriction, such as by using a controlled substance or having an unauthorized person present during parenting time

Enforcing a Parenting Order

Some parenting plan violations may be honest mistakes or momentary lapses in judgment. Provided that doing so does not put you at risk of harm, it is often a good idea to try to resolve the situation with the other parent before taking legal action. However, if the violations continue or your children are in immediate danger, petitioning the court for enforcement of the order can lead to a solution with the force of law.

If the court finds that a violation has occurred, they may order the other parent to reimburse you for legal fees and other financial losses and attend counseling, and they may also grant you makeup parenting time. A parent who violates a parenting agreement can be charged with contempt of court, possibly resulting in fines, imprisonment, and a suspended driver’s license. The court may also decide that modifications to the order are warranted to prevent future violations. This could mean changes to the allocation of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, as well as additional restrictions for the offending parent.

Contact a Homewood Family Law Attorney

If you need help enforcing your parenting agreement, The Foray Firm can work with you to prepare your petition for enforcement along with supporting evidence, as well as represent you in court to make the case for an enforcement action. Contact our Joliet, IL child custody lawyers at 312-702-1293 to learn what we can do for you and your children.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K610.5.htm

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