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DuPage County child custody lawyersIn Illinois, parents who divorce are asked to create a parenting plan. The plan identifies the parent who has the majority of parental responsibility (formerly called custody), describes how major decisions about the child will be made, provides a schedule for sharing parenting time, and more. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement about the terms of the parenting plan through negotiation or mediation, the court may need to decide on a parenting plan on behalf of the parents. However the parenting plan is put in place, it is an official court order that parents are expected to obey completely. If your child’s other parent is not following the directions contained in the parenting plan, he or she could face serious consequences.

When a Parent Intentionally Ignores a Parenting Plan

If your child’s other parent is occasionally late picking up or dropping of your child or makes other minor mistakes with regard to shared parenting, this is not grounds for court action. However, if the parent is purposefully refusing to follow the terms of your parenting plan, it may be time to do something about it. Notify the court of the other parent’s actions and contact an experienced family law attorney. In some cases, a parent who intentionally disobeys a parenting plan can be held in contempt of court and face certain civil consequences. If your child’s other parent is incapable of following the terms of the parenting plan, you may wish to petition the court for a modified parenting plan. Illinois courts will always make child custody and parenting time decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests.  

Parental Abduction and Kidnapping

In extreme cases, a parent’s actions may be considered parental abduction. If you have legal custody of your child and the other parent takes your child away from you and keeps him or her, the other parent may be committing parental abduction. He or she could lose parenting time privileges and face criminal consequences. Parental kidnapping occurs when a parent knowingly confines the child against his or her will through the use of force, threat of force, deceit, or enticement. This is a felony offense punishable by up to seven years in prison. If you believe your child’s other parent has committed parental abduction or kidnapping or otherwise represents a risk to your child, contact the court immediately. Then, reach out to a family law attorney experienced in handling volatile child custody disputes.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_child-custody-schedule-illinois.jpgFinding the perfect child custody schedule for your children can be difficult. With the school year just beginning, many split custody families are testing out their school year custody schedule, one that can be very different from a summer vacation schedule. The best custody arrangement is one that allows your children to feel loved and supported, provides a stable environment, and allows access to quality time spent with both parents. Here are some key things to remember when arranging your child custody schedule with your child's other parent.

Be Realistic

When initially vying for child custody, it’s common for anger and other emotions to cloud your judgment. Try to avoid using your children’s custody schedule as a way to attack your soon to be ex. Do not let your child custody plan be based on your own insecurities or in an attempt to hurt your spouse. Many parents, whose judgments are clouded by emotions, overextend themselves and demand full custody or close to it, when, really, they are unable to actually care well for their children. Consider your own schedule, living arrangements, and other commitments before asking for a large amount of scheduled time with your children. Hopefully you have an attorney by your side during the initial custody arrangement process, so he or she can help steer you in the right direction if necessary.

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out of state, moving, Illinois family lawyerDivorce and custody arrangements are difficult enough, but the difficulties may be intensified if one parent decides to relocate out of state after a divorce. The geographical change can present a number of obstacles for parents as they try to foster healthy, meaningful relationships with their children. There may, however, situations in which such a move would, overall, serve the best interests of the child.

Illinois state law requires that the court be notified if a custodial parent is planning on moving out of state. If the non-custodial parent agrees to the move, the court may simply enter a modified custody or visitation order. In other cases, the purpose of the move will be questioned, along with other considerations, before the court will grant approval. Children Need Access to Both Parents In addition to defining rules and regulations about divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act also protects the rights of the children. By law, children of divorced parents have rights to access both parents and cultivate relationships with them. This requires children to have contact with both parents, which could become difficult if one parent moves out of state. For this reason, non-custodial parents have the right to object to such moves if they think it will impact their relationship with their child(ren). Court Considerations A custodial parents who wishes to move out of state with his or her child must petition the court to request approval to remove the child from Illinois. The court will review the case thoroughly before making a decision and is expected to consider a variety of factors, including:

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