Bloomington, IL asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Illinois

Q: Can a joint custody parent declare a child a runaway if they walk to their other parents residence?

My ex-wife and I have joint custody of our 3 children. We live about 8 blocks from each other and get along fairly well. She told the children yesterday that if they tried to walk from her house to mine that she would call the police and declare them a runaway.

2 Lawyer Answers
Ray Choudhry
Ray Choudhry
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Moline, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Have to congratulate the ex for having come up with a neat way to threaten the kids and keep them in line.

The divorce says where the kids are supposed to be.

If they're supposed to be at her house, that's where they should be.

If the arrangement needs to be changed, then it should be done with a change in the court order.

See your attorney.

Gary W. Wangler
Gary W. Wangler
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Belleville, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Sounds to me as though you might have grounds for challenging and modifying the current joint custodial arrangement, especially of your ex-spouse is engaging in other threatening and intimidating behavior toward the children. I am assuming your ex-spouse is losing control of the children for her to see fit to make such an extraordinary threat against them. Clearly this does not appear to be the type of situation where the police or juvenile authorities would be particularly eager to intervene. Consult an attorney in your area and ask about a petition to modify allocation of parental responsibilities (in other words, change of custody).

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