What You Should Know About Parental Abduction Laws in Illinois

abduction, Illinois family law attorneysWhen parents get divorced in Illinois, they are required to create a parenting plan which contains directions for how the parents will share custody of their children. The plan divides parental responsibilities as well as parenting time between the parents. If the parents cannot decide on a parenting plan together, the court will formulate a parenting plan that meets the child’s best interests.

Once a plan is approved by the court and entered into the divorce judgment, the plan is a legally enforceable court order. If a parent purposely violates the terms of the order, he or she can be held in contempt of court. In some situations, when a parent refuses to allow the other parent to see his or her child, the parent withholding the child is committing parental abduction.

When Does Parental Abduction Occur?

Sometimes, a parent makes a mistake and accidentally violates the terms of the existing parenting plan. He or she may have gotten two dates mixed up or simply lost track of time. Situations like these do not constitute an offense that is likely to result in criminal or civil consequences. However, when a parent purposefully keeps a child away from his or her other parent during the other parent’s court-ordered parenting time, this could be considered parental abduction in some cases.

The following situations may be considered parental abduction:

  • A parent refuses to abide by a parenting plan and withholds parenting time from a parent who has a legal right to parenting time.
  • A parent who has not been granted parenting time through the court takes his or her child from the parent who does have parenting time.
  • A parent removes a child from the other parent under threat of violence or force.
  • A parent who is still married to the child’s other parent takes the child away for 15 or more days without consent from the other parent or notifying the other parent of the child’s location.

If you believe that your child’s other parent has taken actions which constitute parental abduction or you think that your child may be in danger, notify the police immediately. Illinois courts will never place a child in a situation is unsafe. If you can prove that your child’s other parent is not fit, you may be able to receive a modification to your parenting plan. A qualified child custody lawyer can help you petition the court for a modified parenting plan.

Contact an Arlington Heights Child Custody Lawyer

Disputes about parental responsibilities and parenting time can often be complex and contentious, especially when allegations of parental abduction are made. For help from a seasoned Rolling Meadows family law attorney, contact Cosley Law Office. Call our office at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your needs.




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