During the long Thanksgiving weekend, families often have plans to spend time together—go bowling, shop at a local mall, eat at a restaurant, etc. Yet when a couple is divorced, there may be days when one parent desires to see his or her children but the children do not have the option to stay with him or her due to the divorced couple’s parenting plan.
But what happens when a child does not wish to see his or her parent, or a parent abuses his or her parenting time?
Parenting Time and Non-Primary Care-Taking Parents
Parenting time issues can be a struggle, even in the most amicable of divorce situations. When there are problems, both parents and children can end up confused and hurt. However, a child does not get to choose when visiting or living with the non-primary care-taking parent until he or she is 18 years old—the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time is not determined based only on the preference of the child. Therefore, if the primary residential parent is not scheduled to have parenting time with his or her child, then the child must be with the other parent unless parenting time is restricted.
There may be unexplained issues going on at a parent’s house that need to be addressed. Therefore, it is very important to listen to a child’s feelings and opinions on seeing the non-primary care-taking parent. It is best for the parents to sit down with the child and talk through why he or she does not want to visit the non-primary care-taking parent.
Consequences of Unlawful Parenting Time Interference
If one parent violates the parenting time requirements, there are serious consequences that follow. A petty offense will be charged against anyone committing unlawful visitation or parenting time interference. After two prior convictions of unlawful visitation and parenting time interferences, that person will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
If a person is believed to violate parenting time requirements, then law enforcement will send a written notice to that person to appear in court. The notice will include the type of offense and certain time and place of the court appearance. If the person does not appear in court, then a warrant of arrest or summons may be issued against that person.
Contact a Wheaton Parenting Time Lawyer
If you or a loved one is having problems with parenting time, then compassionate attorneys at Abear Law Offices can assist you in your case. Attorney Anthony Abear has nearly two decades of experience in family law and divorce, and he understands your questions and concerns regarding your child and parenting time needs. To schedule your free consultation, please call a skilled DuPage County child custody attorney at 630-904-3033.