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What to Do with Your Child if Your Ex Does Not Show Up for Visitation

Posted in Divorce, Family Law, Visitation on Saturday, January 29th, 2022

If your child’s other parent doesn’t show up regularly for scheduled visitation with your shared child, it makes things more difficult for both you and your child. You are naturally concerned about your child’s well-being and exactly how reliable his or her other parent may be when your child is with him or her, but your child also feels the sting of rejection, which makes the situation that much more challenging. If this is the difficult situation you find yourself in, you may be tempted to withhold visitation when your ex does show up, but this is not the way to go. The best course of action involves consulting with an experienced Illinois parenting time attorney about your options.   

Your Responsibility

You have a court-ordered parenting plan that determines when your child is with you and when he or she is with his or her other parent, and it is likely to include drop-off times and locations. It is your legal obligation to adhere to these court orders and to show up (or to be home) at the times and locations spelled out in your parenting plan. Not to do so can leave you in contempt of court – regardless of whether your ex is playing by the rules or not. Retaliation against your ex for his or her failure to show up for visitation – in the form of withholding future visits – is not going to do you or your child any good, which makes taking legal action your best option. 

Your Child’s Best Interests

Illinois courts base all their child-related decisions on the best interests of the children involved.  Further, it is nearly universally accepted that – except in extreme circumstances – children are best served when they are allowed to spend time with and to continue developing deeper bonds with both parents. In the end, facilitating your ex’s visitation with your shared child supports your child’s best interests and demonstrates to the court that you are willing and prepared to support this important relationship. If your efforts to encourage your ex’s adherence to court-ordered visitation don’t prove helpful, it’s time to consider a parenting plan modification. 

Parenting Plan Modification 

The State of Illinois allows parenting plan modifications, but the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the modification. The court’s determination will be based on the best interests of your child, which involves factors such as the following:

  • The amount of time each of you spent caring for your child during the last 24 months
  • Your child’s relationship with each of you, his or her siblings, and any other people who have a significant role in his or her life
  • Your child’s level of adjustment to his or her home, school, and community overall
  • The needs specific to your child
  • The mental and physical health of you, your ex, and your child

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Illinois Parenting Time Attorney

The compassionate parenting time attorneys at Sabuco Beck, PC – proudly serving both Joliet and Minooka – are committed to skillfully advocating for a parenting modification that supports your parental rights and works for you. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. 

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