Non-custodial parents in Illinois have a right to reasonable parenting time with their children. That right cannot be restricted unless the parent with the majority of the parenting time proves in court that the other parent poses a serious physical, mental, emotional, or moral danger to the child.
Parents may agree upon a particular parenting arrangement, which may or may not include overnight or lengthier visits. In order to limit potential conflict, a well-drafted schedule should detail the specific days and times of each party’s parenting time, the drop-off and pick-up location for exchanges; 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 are unable to agree on a parenting schedule, either parent may ask a judge to set a 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.
Sometimes, the parent with the majority of the parenting time may have good reason to try to limit the children’s time with the other. In cases where the court determines that unrestricted parenting time may be detrimental to a child’s well-being, the court may impose restrictions, such as supervised parenting time. This requires a third person to be present during each visit between the parent and the child, to ensure the safety of the child. In extreme cases, parenting time may be denied altogether.
Any parenting 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 parenting time schedules 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 parenting time 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.