Tag Archives: child custody issues

IL divorce lawyerWhile most allegations of domestic violence are true, sometimes innocent people get caught up in the lies of others. False allegations of domestic violence can be career-ending, life-ruining events for those who committed no crime. If you have been charged with or accused of domestic violence, you need to act quickly to protect yourself.

Statistics Are Not on Your Side

One study found that over a 17-month period, there were 111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence, while only six prosecutions for making false allegations. Even if many false allegation cases are never prosecuted, these are very hard odds to beat. However, in some cases, there is insufficient evidence for the court to take legal action against the defendant, either in the civil or criminal case.

Why False Allegations Are Made

When a man or woman makes a false allegation against their domestic partner, their reason for making the allegation often revolves around a divorce, legal separation, child custody, or visitation case. The accuser knows that, by labeling the other party as a domestic abuser, he or she will have a better chance at receiving a more favorable child custody decision or spousal support decision or be more likely to succeed in blocking any visitation rights for the other parent.

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IL family lawyerCourt-ordered visitation time is just that—court-ordered. As such, a custodial parent is violating the law by denying you visitation with your child, or by reducing the time that you spend with your child by dropping them off late or insisting that you have them home earlier than the parenting plan mandates. This interference damages the bond between non-custodial parents and their children, creates conflict between the parents that the child will inevitably pick up on and blame themselves for causing, and is a common tactic to “get back” at the non-custodial parent for grievances of the past. According to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/10-5.5, a parent who is found guilty of unlawful visitation or parenting time interference has committed a petty offense. The third offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The non-custodial parent has the option of filing a petition for unlawful visitation interference.

Other Types of Interference with Visitation and Custody

  • Custodial parent agrees to drop the child off for visitation and they bring the child late;
  • The custodial parent insists on picking the child up early, before visitation time has expired;
  • Custodial parent does not make the child present, or does not have them ready to go, at the agreed upon time and location for the non-custodial parent to pick the child up for visitation;
  • The custodial parent makes excuses to alter the days of visitation, to reduce the hours or days of visitation, or threatens to disallow the non-custodial parent access to their child if they do not agree to the custodial parent’s terms;
  • The custodial parent insists on tagging along or acting like a supervisor during visitation time activities when the non-custodial parent does not want them to participate in visitation;
  • Denying the child to talk on the phone or via email with the non-custodial parent; and
  • Asking the child to report on the non-custodial parent in order to petition the court to reduce their visitation rights.

Remedies to Interference

If the court agrees with your argument:

  • You may be awarded extra visitation time to make up what you lost;
  • The court may permanently change the custody agreement to give you shared or full custody, assuming you meet the definition of statute 50 ILCS 5/600 for “caretaking functions;” and/or
  • The other parent may be fined or even given a jail sentence.

Interference Needs to Be Habitual in Order for the Court to Take Action

If the interference is a one-time thing or happens just occasionally, you may not have a solid case to petition the court to change the custody agreement or getting back your lost time. The interference must be habitual.

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IL family lawyerCustody and visitation court cases take their toll on families. Separating fathers or mothers from children, even if it is just the weekend or every few days per month during visitation, can cause some parents to take drastic measures. When a parent takes their child from the other parent, leaves town with the child against a court order, or refuses to allow the other parent their legal visitation or time with their child, they will be held in contempt of the court. The American Bar Association warns against taking matters into one’s own hands if a parent is unhappy with a court ruling regarding child custody or visitation. It will have grave consequences during the divorce case for that parent, who will also likely be tried in criminal court. A parent who commits parental kidnapping seriously compromises their chances of having a positive outcome during the divorce proceedings, as they have created a blight on their parenting abilities that no judge will ignore.

Consequences of Parental Kidnapping

Some possible consequences of parental kidnapping include the following:

  • Being arrested;
  • Spending weeks, months, or longer in jail or prison;
  • Fines and restitution fees;
  • Loss of child custody;
  • Limited visitation or supervised visitation only (the parent may also be required to pay a fee for the supervising authority during the supervised visitation as well, meaning that it cost them money every time they see their own child); and
  • Loss of all visitation rights.

Has Your Child Been Kidnapped By Their Other Parent?

Sadly, parental kidnapping is very common. In fact, kidnapping by a stranger is extremely rare. Most children who get kidnapped are taken by someone they know, who is usually a family member and almost always a parent. One study found that 875,000 children are abducted by a family member every year and that 90 percent of those kidnapping relatives or abductors were actually the parents of that child. Fathers were more likely to abduct or kidnap their child than mothers, and only 43 percent of abductions were reported to the police.

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Dupage County child custody lawyer.jpgHalloween marks the time of the year when a months-long procession of holidays, events and seasonal celebrations begin. When you think of the holiday season, you probably think of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But you should not forget about Halloween - especially if you have younger children.

Halloween is a very child-oriented holiday, and it is one that your children will probably have memories of for years to come. You do not want to spend this holiday fighting over who gets to spend time with your child when, which is why if you do not already have these issues outlined in a parenting plan, you should start talking about it now with the help of a skilled family law attorney.

Here are 3 tips to help you have a happy and fun Halloween:

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DupageIn some divorces, the completion of the divorce is the last time that the couple will have to talk or communicate with each other. Once you have gone your own ways, there is no need to have anything to do with each other again.

If you have children, divorce can become a little bit more complicated. Having children with someone means that you will forever be bound to that person because you share a child or children in common.

Even though you may still have feelings of anger or hurt against your ex-spouse, it is important that you put those feelings aside for the sake of your children. Co-parenting takes a great deal of cooperation and compromise. Here are five tips to help practice successful co-parenting after a divorce:

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