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Court-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.
If the court agrees with your argument:
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.
A custodial parent who has denied the other parent access to their child or has interfered in visitation may not be found guilty if they did so to protect the child from physical harm and it is found that their actions were a reasonable response to the harm they believed was imminent.
If you, as a non-custodial parent, have had your visitation time violated by the child’s other parent, you need to take action by contacting a family law attorney. Call the experienced Hinsdale child custody and visitation attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.