a father with his child, child custodyThe primary concern of courts in determining parental custody is structuring a settlement that is in the best interests of the children. When parents interfere with the agreed upon parenting time of the other, they place their own custodial rights in jeopardy. In repeated cases of custodial interference, a parent may seek assistance from a child custody attorney and petition the court for relief. In severe cases, the court may remove all custody rights from the interfering parent.

The Best Interests of the Child

In divorces involving child custody, courts usually allot a set parenting or custody time to each parent. In this way, each contributes to a child’s wellbeing. These decisions are based on the best interests of the children and not the parents’ personal wishes.

The parenting time, or custody, is usually part of the court’s final divorce decision. When a parent willfully interferes in the parenting time of another they are acting in defiance of the court’s decision and against the best interests of the children.

A Violation of Law

Parenting time interference may be direct or indirect. At times it may even be justified, but custodial modifications must be approved by the court.

Parenting time interference is also a violation of Illinois state law and can include:

  • Taking a child away outside of allotted parenting and visitation times
  • Preventing the other parent from seeing the child
  • Not returning a child as agreed
  • Moving a child to another state in violation of the divorce agreement
  • Interfering in communications between the child and parent
  • Failure to allow a parent to be involved in child activities

When parents engage in these actions, they are interfering with the parenting time of the other, and the offended parent may seek the assistance of a child custody attorney.

Parenting Time Modifications

There may be times when it is appropriate to seek an adjustment to a child custody arrangement. Ideally, this happens when both parents agree that the modification is necessary.

In some cases, the court may modify the child custody agreement because of parenting time interference. If the interference has been severe, repeated and deliberate, the offending parent may lose all parenting and visitation privileges.