What to Do If Your Ex Is Not Allowing You to See Your Child

Posted on May 26th, 2020 by Laura Peters

Visitation and child custody (now referred to as “parenting time”) are often the most stressful and complex issues in a family law case. Ideally, parents would always act in the best interest of the child and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent. Unfortunately, the reality is that parents sometimes withhold visitation time with the child as a way to upset their ex-partner. If you find yourself in a situation where your ex is not allowing you to see your child, there are a number of steps you can take to assert your rights. As always, it is important to consult an experienced family law attorney like the family law lawyers in Cook County, Illinois at Giannola Legal LLC.

How Does Parenting Time Work?

Under Illinois law, a child has the right to a relationship with both parents if both parents are fit and proper parents. Even if one parent has majority parenting time, the non-custodial parent still has a right to parenting time. Once you and your ex separate, you should hire an attorney to protect your rights with respect to your child. An attorney can help you draft a Parenting Plan which allocates decision-making and parenting time between the parents. Parenting time interference—which includes both withholding the child during scheduled parenting time and intentionally and continuously scheduling other activities for the child during parenting times – is against the law in Illinois. 

What Will the Judge Do?

If your ex is interfering with your parenting time, you can take him/her back to court. The judge may grant you additional parenting time to make up for lost time, along with awarding you any other remedies he thinks necessary. In addition, your attorney can also request that attorney fees be paid on your behalf for your ex violating the Parenting Plan.

I’m Frustrated, What Else Can I Do?

In addition to knowing your rights, it’s also important to remember to stay calm. Not being able to see your child is incredibly difficult. It’s completely understandable that you feel anger and frustration towards your ex. However, you should remain calm and continue to treat your ex with respect while the legal system sorts out the parenting time issues. Not only will it be better for your child in the long run, it will also be better for your legal case – a judge is less likely to rule in your favor if you are yelling, making threats, harassing your ex, or otherwise acting out of control. Instead of taking matters into your own hands, you can always call the police to assist you if your child is being withheld during your scheduled parenting time.

Finally, as always, you should consult an attorney, like the experienced family law lawyers in Cook County, Illinois at Giannola Legal LLC, who can help you decide on the best course of action for you and your family.

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