Securing Child Visitation & Parenting Time Agreements
Lawyers Who Know Visitation Is About More Than Just the Law
There is a common misconception that when one parent is awarded custody of a child, the non-custodial parent's relationship with that child will inevitably be compromised. This is simply not true! With appropriately drafted parenting time and visitation agreements, relationships between non-custodial parents and their children can be not only preserved, but strengthened.
We can Help Draft Child Visitation and Parenting Time Agreements in Illinois
The key to such an arrangement depends on the lawyer's ability to draft an agreement that will effectively consider and address the needs of the child, the parents and the family as a whole. The Collin Law Offices will work closely with you in drafting a visitation schedule that will serve to maximize involvement in your child's life while also serving the best interests of the minor.
The issue of visitation and parenting time in Illinois is governed by Section 607 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The statute provides that non-custodial parents have a right to reasonable visitation and parenting time. Because this is a right and not a privilege, non-custodial parents cannot be denied or deprived of visitation or parenting time unless a court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.
No Standard Visitation Schedule in Illinois
There is no standard visitation schedule utilized by courts in Illinois, and the law specifically states that the maximum involvement of both parents is in the best interest of the child.
A reasonable visitation or parenting time schedule is usually determined by the unique needs and practical considerations of each family involved. These considerations may include, but not be limited to:
- The distance between the homes of the custodial and non-custodial parents
- The arrangements for transportation
- The parents' respective work schedules
- The child's academic and extra-curricular schedules
It is important to know that a non-custodial parent's visitation rights and the payment of child support are separate and distinct legal issues. In other words, a non-custodial parent cannot be denied or restricted visitation simply based on the non-payment of child support. If a custodial parent attempts to withhold visitation because the non-custodial parent is delinquent in child support payments, such a denial of visitation constitutes an unlawful visitation interference.
Section 607 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDA) also grants reasonable visitation privileges to siblings, grand-parents and great grand-parents of any minor child if a court determines that it is in the best interest and welfare of the child and may issue any necessary orders to enforce such visitation privileges.
Governing Parenting Time for Those Without Majority of Parental Responsibility
(750 ILCS 5/602.8)
Sec. 602.8. Parenting time by parents not allocated significant decision-making responsibilities.
- A parent who has established parentage under the laws of this State and who is not granted significant decision-making responsibilities for a child is entitled to reasonable parenting time with the child, subject to subsections (d) and (e) of Section 603.10 of this Act, unless the court finds, after a hearing, that the parenting time would seriously endanger the child's mental, moral, or physical health or significantly impair the child's emotional development. The order setting forth parenting time shall be in the child's best interests pursuant to the factors set forth in subsection (b) of Section 602.7 of this Act.
- The court may modify an order granting or denying parenting time pursuant to Section 610.5 of this Act. The court may restrict parenting time, and modify an order restricting parenting time, pursuant to Section 603.10 of this Act.
- If the street address of the parent allocated parental responsibilities is not identified, pursuant to Section 708 of this Act, the court shall require the parties to identify reasonable alternative arrangements for parenting time by a parent not allocated parental responsibilities, including but not limited to parenting time of the minor child at the residence of another person or at a local public or private facility.
(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)
Modification of Child Visitation Rulings or Decrees
In any family law proceeding, visitation and parenting time are subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the court. As a child grows, their needs and schedules change. Moreover, the circumstances of the family may evolve over time. Consequently, modifying a visitation schedule may be appropriate if it is in the best interest of the minor. If a visitation arrangement is modified by the court, the non-custodial parent's child support obligations may be subject to change as well.