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What Should I Do if I Am Denied Parenting Time?

When you share minor children with your ex, parental responsibilities will be allocated according to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) through a parenting plan or an allocation judgment. Parental responsibilities include both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. To be clear, whether you go through a divorce with minor children from the marriage or you end a relationship with a partner, you will have an enforceable court order that allocates parenting time between you and your ex-partner or spouse. What should you do if you were denied parenting time by your ex? It is critical to understand that allocation judgments and parenting plans have the force of a court order, and as such, they can be enforced by an Illinois court. Consider the following information from our Illinois child custody lawyers.

Understand Your Parental Rights and Responsibilities in Illinois

Before you take any action, it is important to understand your parental rights and responsibilities in Illinois. Accordingly, you should review your parenting plan or allocation judgment to determine the specific terms of the parenting time allocated to you. Then you should prepare for an enforcement action by noting specific dates and times when parenting time was denied by the other parent.

Seek Enforcement of the Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment

Under the IMDMA, there is a specific “expedited procedure” in place for the “enforcement of allocated parenting time” when another parent has denied parenting time. Here are some of the key things to know about this expedited procedure outlined by the IMDMA:

  • You will need to file an action for the enforcement of allocated parenting time, which will need to include a substantial amount of information (including, e.g., your name and contact information, the other parent’s name and contact information, the existing terms of the parenting plan or allocation judgment that the other party has violated, details of the violation that may include specific dates or times that the other parent violated the order, and evidence that you have made a reasonable attempt to resolve the denied parenting time issue);
  • The court will need to find that the other parent has violated the parenting plan or allocation judgment that allocates parenting time by a preponderance of the evidence in order to take an enforcement action;
  • Possible enforcement actions the court can take include imposing additional terms concerning the allocation of parenting time, requiring one or both parents to take a parental education program (paid for by the non-complying parent), requiring family counseling, requiring the non-complying parent to post a cash bond to ensure future compliance, require make-up parenting time for the parent who was denied parenting time, find the non-complying parent in contempt of court, impose a civil fine on the non-complying parent for each denial of parenting time; 
  • Require the non-complying parent to reimburse the other parent for reasonable expenses related to the enforcement action; and/or
  • Any other steps that the court decides would promote the best interests of the child.

Contact an Illinois Child Custody Attorney Today

If you need assistance enforcing a parenting plan or allocation judgment, or if you need more help determining your options after you were denied parenting time, one of our Illinois child custody attorneys can assist you. Contact Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today for help with your case. 

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