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Withholding Parenting Time for Unpaid Child Support

 Posted on January 16, 2024 in Child Support

Dupage County family lawyerWhether you are the culprit or if it is being done to you, withholding a child’s time from their parent just because that parent is behind in child support payments is wrong. It may be anger-inducing, but you cannot take matters into your own hands concerning court-ordered actions. By withholding parenting time, you are setting yourself up to be seen in poor standing by the Illinois court. Not paying child support can see you being held in contempt by the court with the possibility of seeing interest added to your owed payments.

The laws governing parenting time and child support can be complex. As such, it is important to include an attorney in your decisions so that they may help you steer clear of legal troubles down the line.

Withholding Parenting Time

Withholding or denying a parent’s right to visitation with their child is considered visitation interference, which is unlawful in the state of Illinois. It does not matter the reason; by violating a court order, you are placing yourself in the crosshairs of the law. A first and second visitation interference offense is guilty of a petty offense. However, continued denial of parenting time becomes a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of up to one year in prison along with a maximum fine of up to $2,500.

Both parents have a right to see their children even before a judge enters a court order for parenting time. Prevention of either parent from seeing their child or forcing a parent not to want to see their child is a dissolution action stay violation. The Illinois court is not in the habit of being happy or okay with someone violating their court orders. A judge can do anything within their power to enforce the orders entered, which includes jail time, fines, and compliance. In other words, do not withhold parenting time from the other parent.

Failure To Pay Child Support

Parents are obligated to support their children. When a judge enters an order for child support, it is enforceable by law and remains intact until the child has reached the age of emancipation – 18 years old by law.

Even if a judge were to revoke your right to parenting time, child support must still be paid for the benefit of your child and to avoid complications with the law. Failure to pay child support can see you held in contempt of court, which still puts you on the hook for unpaid child support and future child support. However, a judge can tack on interest payments to current monthly requirements.

Going without payments for an extended period could see you spending time in jail, having your wages garnished, your tax returns intercepted, your driver’s license suspended, and liens placed on your personal or business properties.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

Choosing to withhold parenting time from another parent is the wrong move. Refusing to pay court-ordered child support is also not the answer to your problems. There is help in either case, and a knowledgeable Naperville, IL, child custody and support lawyer can help you find it. Whether you are struggling with making enough money to cover the costs or are frustrated by a co-parent’s lack of effort, Calabrese Associates, P.C. is here to listen. Reach out to our office at 630-393-3111 so that we can discuss your case and formulate a plan to get your life back on track.

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