Enforcing a child custody order

While one hopes that Lake County, Illinois couples who are in a custody dispute will resort to the courts to sort out their issues, such is sadly not always the case.

There are many times in which a parent chooses to take matters in to his or her own hands regarding custody and parenting time by denying visits to the other parent. On the other hand, a parent who does not have the child most of the time may refuse to return the children after a visit or, worse, simply try to hide the children and assume child custody by force.

When this happens, an aggrieved parent has several legal options. In extreme cases, or when a parent honestly does not know where his or her children have been taken, he or she can and is encouraged to contact law enforcement.

Albeit relatively rare, police and prosecutors do have the authority to make arrests, issue citations and file criminal charges when one parent chooses to flagrantly violate a parental allocation order.

In most cases, though, a parent will need to return to the court which is overseeing the child custody and parenting time and ask for the court to issue hold the other parent in contempt of court for violating the court's orders.

While the other parent will have a chance to defend himself or herself, these are not criminal cases, meaning a judge has a bit more flexibility to find that a person has violated custody or parenting time orders and deal with it accordingly. In addition to the possibility of jail time or fines, a court can also make changes to the court's orders in order to make sure the situation does not repeat itself.