Non-custodial parents in Illinois have a right to reasonable visitation with their children. That right cannot be restricted unless the custodial parent proves in court that the non-custodial parent poses a serious physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger to the child.
Parents may agree upon a particular visitation schedule, which may or may not include overnight or lengthier visits. In order to limit potential conflict, a well-drafted visitation schedule should detail the specific days and times of visitation, the drop-off and pick-up location for the visits; the person who will be responsible for transportation to and from that location; and more. For example, an agreement may note that the child would alternate spending holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving with each of the parents, and specify how birthdays and vacation time would be split between the parents.
In cases where parents can not agree on a visitation plan, either parent may ask a judge to set a visitation schedule. The judge would then face the task of determining what arrangements would be in the best interest of the children—taking into consideration numerous factors. In situations where a judge must decide, an experienced family law attorney will bring together all the evidence regarding such factors and present it effectively during the required court hearings, in order to help the judge understand the family dynamics and the needs of the children involved.
Some times, a custodial parent may have good reason to try to limit the children’s visitation with the other parent. In cases where the court determines that unrestricted visitation may be detrimental to a child’s well-being, the court may impose visitation restrictions, such as supervised visitation. In supervised visitation, a third person would be required to be present during each visit between the parent and the child, to ensure the safety of the child. In extreme cases, visitation may be denied altogether.
Any visitation plan can be modified if the circumstances require it. As children grow older, their schedules and needs change; similarly, if parents move away or establish a different work schedule, a visitation plan that once worked may no longer be viable.
At Kollias & Giese, P.C., we know that every family has different schedules, and that what works best for one family may not work best for yours. We have decades of experience negotiating and drafting a wide spectrum of custody and visitation plans for clients throughout the greater Chicago area. In cases where restrictions are appropriate, we have experience successfully litigating such cases in court to ensure the safety of the children.
If you are a parent whose visitation arrangements are no longer effective nor in the best interests of your children, please contact Kollias & Giese, P.C. for guidance through the process for modification.
In certain, very limited circumstances, grandparents in Illinois may go to court to request visitation as well. However, those circumstances have been the subject of extensive litigation in the last decade, and the laws have been rewritten multiple times. We can assist you in determining what your rights are in a grandparent-visitation case and help you through the often-confusing process. If you are a grandparent who is seeking visitation with your grandchildren, or if you are a parent seeking to prohibit such visitation, please contact Kollias & Giese, P.C. for an evaluation of your particular circumstances and a thorough explanation of your legal options.
For a free 30-minute initial consultation, please call (630) 407-1200, or complete the online intake form.