My Child has Not Returned from a Scheduled Visit with Their Non-Custodial Parent. How Long is “Too Long” Before I Should Act?
We would be hard-pressed to find even a single person who hasn’t been late for something in their life. From delays on the freeway due to rush-hour traffic, to unexpected roadblocks that come up in everyday life, emergencies, and medical disasters, it is not unusual for a person to miss an appointment or deadline every once in a while, even if they are the punctual type. However, the situation becomes more dire and concerning when the scheduled appointment is the return of a child from a visit with their non-custodial parent. Even a thirty-minute delay can cause a Chicago parent to go into a panic. But how long is “too long” before a Chicago parent should do something when a non-custodial parent is late for a drop-off after a scheduled visitation? To help Chicago parents better understand the importance of acting fast, and when, we provide three helpful tips for knowing when a delay is too long.
Tip #1: Refer to the Parenting Plan and Visitation Schedule
At the outset, to truly know the “lay of the land”, a Chicago parent should refer to their parenting plan or custody agreement and visitation schedule to confirm when their child should be returned to them from a scheduled visit. This important document should outline the court-ordered or agreed-upon schedule and the ins-and-outs of pickups and drop-offs and the timing of scheduled visits. If a visit is not compliant with the court order or custody agreement, then there may be cause for concern.
#2. Communicate with the Non-Custodial Parent
Have you tried getting in touch with your ex and they won’t pick up the phone or answer a text? If so, this could be cause for alarm. It is important to try to get in touch with your child’s non-custodial parent to see if there is a reasonable explanation or cause for a delay in returning your child. If the child’s non-custodial parent does not answer, or their reason for being late to a scheduled drop-off does not make sense, it may make sense to leap into action and take next steps to protect your child from a child abduction.
#3. Speak with an Experienced Chicago International Family Law Hague Convention Lawyer
If you suspect that your child’s non-custodial parent may abduct your child internationally from Chicago, it is important to speak with a Chicago international family law Hague Convention lawyer as soon as possible about your concerns. It is best not to hesitate, as it may be very difficult to locate a child once they have been abducted by a non-custodial parent, especially overseas. The experienced Chicago international family law Hague convention lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC help Chicago parents with international family law matters and Hague convention cases. Contact the experienced Chicago international family law Hague convention lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC and speak with an experienced Chicago lawyer about your rights, options, and next steps now.