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Under Illinois law, a non-custodial parent is generally entitled to reasonable visitation rights, unless the court finds that any such visitation would seriously endanger the child. While it may be becoming more common for courts to order that parents share custody of their children, parents may determine that the best interest of the child requires them to live with one parent (thus, one parent would have sole physical custody of the child), with the other parent having regularly scheduled visitation rights. If you are going through a divorce and need help negotiating visitation rights, or you want to modify your current visitation schedule, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney immediately.
What Are Some Typical Visitation Arrangements for the Non-Custodial Parent?
Usually the court allows the parents to determine “reasonable” alternative arrangements for the parent who does not have custody of the child. A visitation schedule can and should aim to be routine and predictable to avoid disrupting the child’s activities. Generally, the noncustodial parent could have a visitation schedule in which they see the child:
Some holidays; or
For a portion of the summer holidays.
Moreover, when making visitation arrangements, it is important to not only create a visitation schedule, but also a parenting plan. Thus, parents should consider standards as it relates to the schedule such as pick up and drop off times and locations, communication standards, and other essential guidelines.
Can a Court Place Restrictions on or Prohibit Visitation?
In some cases, a court can restrict visitation, or prohibit it altogether. However, any such restriction or prohibition is determined based on the welfare and best interest of the child and does not necessarily take into consideration the parents preferences or wants. Courts have a baseline assumption that a child’s best interest is nurtured through having a close and healthy relationship with both parents, and will only begin to restrict a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights if evidence shows that such a visitation will endanger the child. Parental visitation rights, if not wholly prohibited, can be restricted, and the court can require the following:
All visits are supervised by a third party, such as a close family member;
Visits with the noncustodial parent take place outside the home;
Visits take place solely in the custodial parent’s home; or
Time constraints are placed on visits, such as prohibiting overnight visits or prohibiting the noncustodial parent from coming in contact with the child if he or she is under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or other mind-altering substance.
Call Our Office Today to Protect Your Visitation Rights
If you are dealing with any type of visitation or custody matter resulting from your divorce proceedings, or otherwise, contact the DuPage County family law attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio located in Hinsdale, Illinois. We can help you protect your visitation rights, develop your visitation schedule, or appeal to the court to get your visitation order amended. We work with clients in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, and Will counties. Call us at 630-920-8855 or go online and schedule your free consultation today.