Courts in Illinois generally presume that a child’s best interests are met when they can spend equal amounts of time with both parents. However, even in situations where that is possible, there is usually a “residential parent” with whom the child lives primarily with the other parent having extensive visitation rights with the child.

Visitation, referred to as “parenting time” in Illinois, is a schedule that provides a noncustodial parent the opportunity to spend time with the child. A Mokena visitation lawyer could help you understand the visitation process, including important information regarding the specific details of visitation in your unique case.

Just as no two children are alike and no two families share the exact same characteristics, each parenting time schedule is also unique. Understanding how visitation works may be an important part of anticipating how it might affect your family and your relationship with your child and therefore should be addressed with the help of an experienced child custody attorney.

Determining Parenting Time

When courts look at aspects of a divorce involving children, they endeavor to make decisions based on the best interests of the child. Determining parenting time is no different. Some of the factors a court might consider when determining parenting time, found in 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/602.5(c), include:

  • The wishes of the child, if appropriate based on the child’s age and maturity as well as their ability to express preferences
  • The amount of time spent by each parent engaged in caretaking functions
  • The child’s relationship and interaction with both parents

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and a Mokena visitation attorney could review many more factors that could be applicable in determining parenting time in a divorce.

It should also be noted that some of the factors used in determining visitation are somewhat subjective. Working with visitation lawyers who understand how these factors affect visitation schedules may help to divorce spouses navigate the negotiation process involved in creating a parenting time plan while working toward a solution that fits their family.

Other Considerations

Courts understand that there may be circumstances where traditional visitation does not meet the needs of the child. If one parent is struggling with substance abuse or there is a history of violence or other behavior that could be detrimental to a child’s well-being, the court may order the affected parent to participate in supervised visitation until such time as circumstances change.

It is important to approach visitation—and all areas of child custody—in a productive and proactive manner. Keep in mind that the focus needs to be on the child’s best interests and not necessarily those of the parents or court.

Let a Mokena Visitation Attorney Assist You

Your child’s health, safety, and well-being are all important considerations. When circumstances arise that require visitation to be part of your divorce settlement, consider working with a dedicated Mokena visitation lawyer who could help you navigate the nuances of custody law.

If you have questions or concerns about visitation with your child, call today to see how a visitation attorney in Mokena could work with you throughout the divorce process. Experienced legal assistance may help you approach important topics like visitation with more confidence and a clearer understanding of your role in the legal process.