Long before there were Amber Alerts on smartphones, pictures of missing children appeared on milk cartons. This program began in neighboring Iowa in the early 1980s. Many people believed strangers had snatched these children. That was true in a few cases. But even today, the vast majority of child kidnappers are parents who do not have a legal right to possession at that point in time.
Occasionally, such violations are not much more than misunderstandings. Frequently, however, there is some degree of malice involved. So, to determine the appropriate response, a Rolling Meadows divorce attorney usually goes through a two-step process in court. Both parents, whether they are alleged kidnappers or not, have legal rights at each point.
As mentioned, either misunderstanding or malice usually prompts visitation order violations. However, there are various degrees of misunderstanding and malice.
Not all Rolling Meadows divorce lawyers are created equally. Specifically, they have different drafting skills. Sometimes, a child custody or visitation provision is either vague or outdated. For example, an order could state that the children must attend public school. A charter school, which might or might not have a religious affiliation, is a kind of public school. An outdated order could be “the children shall see Dr. X.” What happens if Dr. X retires, the children move, or circumstances otherwise change?
In these situations, the judge usually signs a clarifying order. Then, the judge releases both parties with a stern admonition to go forth and sin no more.
Malice usually involves Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). One parent tries to drive an emotional wedge between the other parent and the children. Mild PAS might include sudden, unannounced changes to visitation patterns. Extreme PAS might include moving with the children and not telling anyone about the relocation.
There are almost always two sides to the story in these situations. Frequently, judges appoint social services workers to investigate these matters and determine what really happened.
A judge usually determines the appropriate response at a hearing. Sometimes, as mentioned above, a simple clarification might be best. If a parent intentionally violated the court order, possible penalties include reimbursement for attorneys’ fees and other costs, partial forfeited future visitation, or even wholesale changes to the custody order.
The pattern of violations, if any, is usually relevant, as well. As James Bond author Ian Fleming once wrote, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and thrice is enemy action. So, if there is no history of prior serious violations, many judges punish the parent who brought the enforcement action. The longer the pattern is, the more intense punishments are appropriate.
These punishments are possible because the at-fault parent violated a court order. Law enforcement and judges take such matters seriously.
No one wants to deal with motions to enforce. So, the resolutions almost always include a modification of the existing custody orders. Usually, the parties agree to the modifications, and the judge then approves them.
Judges almost always intervene if a child custody order is violated in a material way. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer in Rolling Meadows, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. Virtual and after-hours visits are available.
Walked in just for consultation, and in less than 45 days, my case was closed! Thanks to attorney Andrea Heckman, with all her passion and professional manner! Couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much for everything! Great attorney for all family needs! Thank you.
From the moment I walked in as a client to the end when everything was complete, I was very pleased with attorney Andrea Heckman, her knowledge, and professionalism! Her whole staff was always helpful. I would use them again if needed and refer them to everyone I know! Thank you.
Andrea Heckman has been my attorney helping/guiding/advocating for my children and I regarding my custody situation. We are in the process of working towards a more equal parenting schedule, and I have faith in her efforts and expertise to accomplish this.
I have used this office since 2018 and have nothing but excellent things to say. Andrea Heckman handled my divorce with no faults. Andrea is currently handling my child custody case and has been on top of everything! Andrea Heckman is an unstoppable force, and I would recommend her to anyone!
I could not ask for a better attorney to represent me during my case which is Andrea Heckman. Anytime I had any questions, I got a response in a timely manner. Andrea walked me through a very difficult time which was a divorce/child custody case. Andrea is very knowledgeable and motivating. The staff has been nothing but welcoming and professional. If I have to go to court for anything, I will definitely be giving this firm a call again.
Heckman Law is handling my divorce/custody. Andrea is very professional, knowledgeable, and responsive. She will take the time to answer and explain any questions you may have. She usually responds within a few hours. Honest about possible outcomes, whether it’s good or bad news. My ex doesn’t want to negotiate or cooperate with anything. Andrea is willing to fight in the courtroom for you. The case is ongoing.
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Ms. Heckman is a great lawyer. She helped me get time with my daughter when my ex was being nasty and refusing to let me see my baby. I thank her for all her hard work.
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Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.