When a married couple gets divorced, as well as in other types of family law cases, court orders will be put in place that will detail how certain issues will be handled going forward. While parents are expected to follow the terms of these orders, situations may arise in which one parent may believe that the other has failed to meet their obligations. These disputes may be related to child custody, child support, or other issues. Understanding the best ways to address these issues is important, and parents who approach these matters the wrong way could face a number of additional legal concerns. If you are in this situation, here are some mistakes that you should be sure to avoid:
Withholding Child Support
In some cases, a parent may violate child custody orders; for example, they may fail to pick up or drop off children when required, or they may refuse to allow the other parent to communicate with the children. These actions can cause a great deal of difficulty, especially for a “non-custodial” parent who spends less time with their children than they would prefer. The inability to spend time with children or communicate with them about what is going on in their lives can have a significant impact on parent/child relationships, and a parent who is being denied parenting time may believe that they need to take action to compel the other parent to abide by a child custody order.
In response to the denial of parenting time or other violations, a parent may believe that the best action would be to stop paying child support to the other parent. However, doing so will only complicate a case further, and it may lead to court penalties for failing to meet one’s financial obligations. Child support is a benefit provided to children rather than to the other parent, and the denial of this form of support will ultimately harm the children. To avoid potential penalties, a parent will need to address the other parent’s violations through the court rather than taking matters into their own hands.
Denial of Parenting Time
Just as withholding child support may seem like a valid response to child custody violations, a parent may also attempt to take action to address the non-payment of child support by refusing to allow that parent to spend time with the children. However, it is important to remember that courts treat child custody and child support as separate issues. Taking action to deny or restrict parenting time without court approval could lead to penalties for the parent who has violated the terms of a child custody order. If a person interferes with the other parent’s parenting time, or otherwise acts in ways that could have a negative impact on parent/child relationships, the court may order them to provide the other parent with makeup parenting time, or a child custody order may even be modified to adjust parenting time schedules or place restrictions on a person’s own parenting time.
As with other types of violations, non-payment of child support should be addressed in court. If a parent has failed to pay support when required, they will be ordered to pay all past-due amounts along with interest. If necessary, wage garnishment orders may be put in place, or other methods may be used to collect the amount owed, such as seizing a parent’s tax refunds. Continued refusal to pay support or willful violations of the court’s orders could result in a parent being held in contempt of court, and they could face fines, imprisonment, or other penalties.
Contact Our Oak Park Post-Divorce Enforcement Attorney
When it comes to enforcing an Illinois family court order, there are certain issues that divorced parents need to keep in mind in order to stay within the confines of the law. If you are concerned about violations of the court’s orders by your children’s other parent, [[title]] can advise you on how to proceed, and we can provide you with top-quality representation to ensure that these matters will be handled correctly in court. Contact our Hillside divorce order enforcement lawyer at [[phone]] to set up a free consultation.