Deciding a visitation schedule that works for both parents can be a difficult task. The thought of your child spending the majority of his or her time with the other parent can take a heavy emotional toll. Our family law lawyers can help residents of DuPage County and Kane County set up a proper visitation schedule and preserve their relationships with their children. With 15 years of experience, the Wheaton lawyers at the Law Offices of Nick Kulagin understand the nuances of this area of the law and can put our knowledge to use for you.Crafting a Visitation Schedule
Under Illinois law, a parent who is not given custody of a child is permitted to have reasonable visitation rights. There is no precise definition of what “reasonable” means. What is considered reasonable will depend on the circumstances in the specific case, including the child’s age.
In shared custody situations, a visitation schedule denotes how time will be divided between each parent. Typically, court-ordered visitation plans permit the non-residential parent to spend every other weekend, some weekdays, and some holidays with the child. Since this schedule may not work for every family, parents have the option of submitting an alternative visitation arrangement for the court’s approval.
There is a presumption that parents have an inherent right to see their children. As a result, courts rarely deny visitation rights to a parent unless it can be shown that visitation would be physically, mentally, or emotionally detrimental to the child. When a parent is struggling with substance abuse or a mental illness, the court will typically place conditions on the visitation so that it is safe for the child. Some of these conditions may include:
- Forbidding overnight visits;
- Mandating the presence of a third party (i.e., supervised visitation);
- Restricting visitation in the parent’s home;
- Permitting visitation solely in the residential parent’s home; and
- Forbidding visitation when a parent is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Only in extreme cases will the court completely withhold a parent’s access to a child. If it is determined that visitation would be harmful to the child, the court can revoke or restrict visitation rights, but only after a hearing has taken place.
Besides the non-residential parent, grandparents, great-grandparents, and siblings of a minor child may also request visitation by bringing an action in court through a petition. The court will issue a visitation order if it deems that visitation is in the best interest of the child.Explore Your Options with a Family Law Lawyer in DuPage or Kane County
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of divorce is the potential of losing daily contact with your children. We understand that part of a healthy parent-child relationship is being able to spend quality time together. At the Law Offices of Nick Kulagin, our divorce and child custody attorneys can assist people throughout DuPage and Kane Counties with navigating the complex legal system and protecting their visitation rights. We also serve people in Naperville, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, and Oak Park. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 630-480-6399 or contact us online.