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IL divorce lawyerCustodial interference occurs when a parent prevents the other parent from having their court-ordered visitation with their child. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Refusing to let the child go to the other parent's house
  • Hiding the child from the other parent
  • Moving out of state without the other parent’s permission
  • Picking up the child early or dropping them off late
  • Showing up unexpectedly during the other parent’s parenting time
  • Keeping the child from talking to the other parent on the phone or video chat

Custodial interference is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on you and your child. There are steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your child. It starts by contacting a family law attorney who can help you understand your options and can represent you in court if necessary.

What are the Penalties for Custodial Interference?

The penalties for custodial interference vary depending on the severity of the offense. For the first two offenses, a person can be charged with a petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500. For subsequent offenses or more serious cases of custodial interference, a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.


IL custody lawyerChildren should be able to enjoy a close relationship with each of their parents, as it is certainly in their best interests. In some cases, one parent will interfere with a child’s relationship with the other parent. When a parent engages in alienation, it has serious short and long-term effects on the children. A Naperville family law attorney can help you take action to hopefully put an end to this dangerous practice.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is one parent is relentlessly negative about the other to the children or in their presence. The parent’s intent is to make their children think less of the other parent. The parent wants the child to identify with them over the other parent. The children will pull away from the targeted parent to varying degrees. The children will begin to internalize the alienating parent’s negativity to the targeted parent. They may even refuse to speak with or see the targeted parent. There can be a permanent wedge between the child and the targeted parent, which may only be bridged after extensive therapy.

The Harmful Effects of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation hurts the child for the obvious reason that they lose a relationship with one of their parents. Being placed in the middle of a high-conflict divorce can harm the children emotionally. There is a reason why parental alienation is often described as a form of emotional child abuse.


IL family lawyerWhen two parents end their relationship, they should not put the children in the middle of their conflict. One parent may show unjustified and relentless negativity towards the other parent when speaking to the children. The result is that the children’s relationship with the other parent may suffer. This is known as parental alienation. An Illinois family law attorney can help you address parental alienation once you learn that it is happening.

How Parental Alienation Harms the Children

Alienation is referred to as a form of child abuse, and with good reason. One parent is taking advantage of their power over the children to harm their relationship with the other parent. Alienation will cause a number of short and long-term impacts on the children, including:

  • An inability to develop relationships
  • Delinquent behavior and lack of impulse control
  • A loss of self-esteem
  • Disruptions in school and difficulty learning
  • Increased chances of substance abuse as an adult
  • Aggressive behavior with their peers

Signs of Parental Alienation

As a parent, it is essential that you spot the warning signs of parental alienation and act quickly to stop it. You may not always be able to end the behavior, and the situation will grow worse over time. Here are some signs that your children are being subjected to parental alienation:


IL family lawyerIf you are a parent who is experiencing a situation where your ex-husband has fled the state with your child, it can be a devastating and emotionally tumultuous experience. However, it is essential to know that in this kind of situation, you have legal options available to ensure that you are able to reunite with your child and regain your rights to custody and visitation. During this frightening time, contact a family law attorney to learn more about your potential legal course of action during this time.

Here is What You Should Do Right Now

The first step you should take is to contact law enforcement as soon as possible. By reporting your ex-husband’s actions to the police, you can initiate a search for your child and file a missing child report. You should provide law enforcement with as much information as possible, including your child’s name, age, physical description, and any unique information that could help locate them. The police will then enter your child’s information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which will alert law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Then, contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss what else you can do legally. Your attorney also is able to explain your custody and visitation rights under Illinois law and can help guide you through the process of getting your child back. They may also be able to work with law enforcement agencies to locate your child and bring them back to Illinois.


IL family lawyerIn Illinois, a parenting plan is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of divorced, separated, or unmarried parents. A parenting plan is required for all cases involving child custody and visitation. While a parenting plan is intended to be a long-term agreement, there are situations in which it may need to be modified. Ann experienced divorce attorney can be an invaluable resource as you make modifications to your parenting plan that are conducive to your new situation.

Reasons Why a Parenting Plan May Need to Be Modified

  • Reason #1 – Change in circumstances – One of the most common reasons a parenting plan needs to be modified is a change of circumstances. A change in circumstance may include a job loss, relocation, or a significant change in income. If a change in circumstances has impacted a parent’s ability to care for their child, they may need to request a modification of the parenting plan. In this case, the parent would need to demonstrate that the change in circumstances is significant enough to warrant a modification of the parenting plan.
  • Reason #2 – Violation of the parenting plan – If one parent is not following the parenting plan terms, the other parent may need to seek a modificaton. For example, if one parent consistently fails to pick up or drop off the child at the designated time or location, this could violate the parenting plan. In this case, the other parent may need to seek a modification to address the issue and ensure the parenting plan is followed.
  • Reason #3 – Child’s needs have changed – As children grow older, their needs often change. For example, as a child gets older, they may require more or less structure in their schedule or may need to spend more time with one parent than the other. If the child’s needs have changed, one or both parents may need to request a modification to the parenting plan to ensure that the child’s best interests are being served.
  • Reason #4 – Safety concerns – If a parent has concerns about their child’s safety while in the care of the other parent, they may need to seek a modification to the parenting plan. Safety concerns include physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or substance abuse. In this case, the parent would need to demonstrate that the child’s safety is at risk and that a modification of the parenting plan is necessary to protect the child.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

For more information regarding modifying your parenting plan, contact the experienced Naperville, IL divorce lawyers with Calabrese Associates, P.C.. Call 630-393-3111 for a private consultation.


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