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Parental Communication in Custody and Visitation Arrangements

Posted on in Child Custody

communication, custody, visitation, Illinois family law attorneyIf you are subject to child custody or visitation order, you have undoubtedly faced challenges related to dealing with the other parent. They may have been minor issues, if you are lucky, or they may be larger problems, including a complete lack of consistency on the part of the non-custodial parent. You may feel obligated to continue to push the other parent to comply with the arrangements you have in place, but it is important for you to realize where your responsibility to do so ends.

Moral Obligations

Like any responsible parent, you want what is best for your child. Studies continue to show that active participation of both parents in a child’s life can lead to a more positive outcome for the child, regardless of the parents’ marital status. It is totally understandable that you would want your child to have every possible opportunity to grow up healthy and well-adjusted, even if it means continuing to encourage the other parent to uphold their responsibilities. If he or she continues to act with inconsistency, you may wish to consult a pediatric health professional to help you understand where you should draw the line with the other parent.

Legal Responsibilities

Under law, you do not have any obligation to keep the other parent compliant with his or her role under a custody or visitation order. The only possible exception would be a situation in which specific communication requirements were clearly negotiated and set forth in the order. For example, your order may clearly state that you and the other parent will set arrangements for the coming week every Sunday afternoon.

Such a scenario, however, is fairly uncommon. Instead, the parents, in conjunction with the court, typically establish a set schedule for parenting time and visitation. Each parent is fully responsible for adhering to the schedule without prompting from the other parent.

When compliance begins to become an issue, your best option is to carefully document the developing problem. Keep track of dates, times, and any related communication, as you consider pursuing a change to the agreement. The other parent’s failure to comply with an existing order can be presented as evidence in your favor, should you seek a custody or visitation modification. Do not, however, prevent the other parent from access to your child during a scheduled visitation time without explicit permission from the court. Doing so could be damaging to your own case for modification, in addition to creating confusion for your child.

Help for Your Complicated Situation

At A. Traub & Associates, we fully understand the challenges that parents face in providing for their children. We also know how frustrating it can be when the other parent refuses to consistently cooperate. Before you take any action on your own, however, you should contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. We will meet with you to discuss your circumstances, answer your questions, and help you make the best decisions for you and your child.


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