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Enforcing Child Custody Orders

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parental rights,In some cases, courts have trouble enforcing child custody orders and orders forbidding removal of the child from the court’s jurisdiction. If the respondent improperly removes the child from the petitioner’s physical custody or improperly retains the child after his visitation time legally ended, then the court may enter an enforcement judgment.

If the child’s whereabouts are known, then the judgment may direct law enforcement to assist the petitioner in apprehending the child. Moreover, the judgment may authorize babysitters, teachers or anyone who has custody of the child to surrender the child to law enforcement.

The enforcement order may be entered without providing notice to the respondent if the court determines that notice would make it more difficult to locate the child. For example, the respondent might conceal the child or take him out of the state.

A Note About Removal

The custodial parent may not remove the child from Illinois without the court’s permission, which will be granted if the court determines that removal is in the child’s best interests. Before temporarily removing the child, the custodial parent must provide the other parent (or the other parent’s attorney) with the child’s contact information. Note that the court may not consider the availability of electronic communication when deciding whether to grant removal.

Judicial Supervision in Child Custody Cases

Generally, the custodial parent may make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, including his education, health treatment and religious training. However, the non-custodial parent may file a motion requesting that the court limit – or supervise – the custodial parent’s actions. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether the best interests of the child require a limitation of parental authority.

If both parents agree that supervision is necessary, or if the court concludes that unlimited parental authority would endanger the child’s physical health or impair his emotional development, the court may order the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to ensure that specific custodial or visitation terms are followed.

Court-Ordered Counseling

The court may also order individual counseling for the child, family counseling or parental education when:

  • Both parents or all parties agree;
  • The court determines that the child’s physical health is endangered or emotional development is impaired; or
  • The court finds that one or both parents violated the joint parenting agreement (specifically regarding their conduct in the child’s presence).

Generally the court divides counseling costs between the parties. However, if the court orders counseling because one of the parties violated a custody order, visitation order or joint parenting agreement, then the court will assess the counseling costs against the offending party.

Child custody is often a contentious issue, particularly when one or both parties do not want to comply with the court’s orders. Our experienced Kane County family law attorneys can help you file a motion to enforce or modify an existing order. Contact us today for a consultation. We can assist those in the St. Charles area.
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