It can seem like a nightmare scenario when your ex-spouse withholds visitation or parenting time with your children. However, there are many legal avenues that a parent can take to ensure they receive their fair share of parenting time with their children. Typically, the allocation of parenting responsibilities and parenting time is detailed in the divorce agreement — a legally binding document. Since the divorce decree is a court order, spouses must uphold it. If either spouse or parent chooses to breach the terms in a divorce decree, they can face significant consequences.
Option 1: Mediation
Sometimes, parents need to reevaluate the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time and make modifications to their Parenting Plan. Parents may be able to reach an agreement about parenting time and parental responsibilities through mediation. Alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation offer ways to handle legal issues without going directly to a court judge. Mediation involves a neutral third party to assist parents in resolving legal matters.
If you and an ex-spouse are having trouble sticking to the custody, parenting, or visitation plan outlined in your divorce agreement, a mediator may be able to help. Seeking mediation rather than court intervention could save you time and money. However, mediation only works if both parents are willing to communicate. Mediation is appropriate for parents looking for a trained individual to help facilitate negotiation. However, mediation is not helpful if there is contempt between spouses, ongoing refusal to adhere to the parenting plan, or if a parent suspects abuse or neglect by the other parent.
Option 2: Contempt Request
In more contentious circumstances, a parent may choose to file a contempt request to the court if their ex-spouse is refusing visitation time. In this case, the court will get involved, and a judge will review the complaint and make necessary changes. The parent seeking visitation time may request a custody change to allow them more time with the children. Sometimes, the custodial parent refusing visitation may face jail time. The court case result will be unique to each family and up for the judge to decide.
The best thing to do is seek legal assistance if a co-parent is refusing visitation. If you believe that the other parent involved is abusing, neglecting, or planning on not returning the children, police involvement may be necessary. A good rule to follow is to contact the police if you feel that a child’s safety is at risk
Speak to a Skilled Divorce and Family Attorney in Plainfield, Illinois
At the [[title]], our Plainfield family attorneys are prepared to help you handle family legal matters, including visitation disputes. Our lawyers have years of combined experience working with clients preparing for divorce, creating custody and parenting agreements, and resolving complicated family and divorce issues. If you feel that your ex-spouse does not uphold your divorce agreement and prevents visitation time, please reach out to us at [[phone]]. We offer a free consultation to help review the facts of your case.