What Can I Do If My Ex Won’t Let Me See My Child?
In many situations, a couple will get divorced while remaining remarkably civil to one another both during and after the fact. Sometimes, however, a divorce or a break up can become much more contentious. While these types of splits are always unfortunate, they can be even more so when they involve children. It is unfortunately not uncommon for one parent to make it difficult for the other parent to spend time with their child during and after a bitter divorce. If you are being denied access to your child, it is important to know your rights.
Your Rights to Parenting Time
According to Illinois law, legal parents have the rights to a reasonable parenting time with their children. This is true regardless of the relationship between the adults. Even parents who have not been given any say over important decisions for their children are supposed to have access to parenting time, assuming they do not present a danger to their children. This means that your ex-spouse does not have the right to keep you from seeing your child.
During a Divorce
The period of time while a divorce is pending is often confusing and overwhelming, especially for parents. There is usually a great deal of uncertainty regarding the type of parenting arrangements that should be made. A legally binding parenting plan will be part of the final divorce decree, but what about while the divorce is ongoing?
Your best option for protecting your rights to parenting time during a divorce is to seek a temporary order for the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts recognize that a divorce may not be finalized for many months but parents must continue being parents while the case is pending. A temporary order can spell out a parenting time schedule that allows you to see your child, regardless of what your ex says. If your former partner continues to deny you parenting time despite a temporary order, he or she could face sanctions for contempt of court.
After a Divorce
Once your divorce is finalized, you should have an enforceable parenting plan in place. Your parenting plan will include a schedule for facilitating parenting time for each parent. Ideally, your parenting plan should guarantee a minimum amount of parenting time on specific days, with the possibility for additional parenting time as appropriate. A parent who prevents the other from exercising the parenting time promised in a parenting plan could be found to be in contempt of court.
If your parenting plan relies on cooperation between you and your ex, you could run into trouble if your ex refuses to hold up their end of the bargain. For example, your plan may say that you will get to spend two days per week with your children, and the days will be determined by each parent’s work schedule for a given week. Your ex could be deceptive about his or her work schedule in order to keep you from seeing your child. In a situation like this, you may wish to seek a modification of your parenting plan to include a more specific schedule.
Call Us for Help
Every parent deserves to have access to their children. If you are being unfairly kept away from your children, contact a Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-549-0960 for a confidential consultation today.