If you have children, one of the most important aspects of a divorce case is safeguarding your rights regarding parenting time, custody, and decision-making on your children’s behalf. Recent changes in family law have altered the legal terms used in Orland Park courts, but most people may still think of the traditional terms such as custody and visitation rights.

What is now referred to as “parenting time” is still often allocated to one parent more than the other. Effectively, whoever has more parenting time may be thought of as having “residential custody” of the child in question, whereas the other party is granted “visitation rights.”

Therefore, if you feel you are being denied your fair rights regarding parenting time, it may be necessary to talk to an Orland Park visitation lawyer who understands how local courts interpret the new laws and how to effectively pursue a positive resolution in your favor. If you need to reassert your rights as a parent, Reidy Law Group LLC is here to help. Our veteran attorneys are dedicated to serving you during this difficult transition.

Visitation Rights Apply in Matters Beyond Divorce

While visitation issues often arise in the course of divorce proceedings, parental rights—including those pertaining to visitation—are often at issue in other circumstances as well. For instance, parents who were never married or who are legally separated but not divorced have rights regarding access to their children.

Alternatively, individuals have visitation rights limited or denied due to allegations of abuse or neglect. Regardless of the specific scenario, an Orland Park visitation lawyer could help an individual understand and fight for an adjustment to the parenting time they are allowed with their child.

How the Updated Law Applies to Orland Park Visitation Cases

In cases where parents who are divorcing or in contentious situations do not have a court-approved parenting plan, an Illinois court will allocate parenting time based on the best interests of the child.

In lieu of conflicting evidence in divorce cases, courts presume under 750 ILCS §5/602.7 that both parents are “fit” to undertake parental duties and that there should therefore not be any limitations or conditions placed on parenting time. The exception is if evidence shows that unrestricted parenting time would “seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.” With parents who were never married, the standard is different and it is important to understand the difference in the law.

Abuse of Allocated Parenting Time or Child Endangerment

The court can take action if an individual proves their child’s other parent is not complying with the parenting time arrangements set forth in a parenting plan or court order, or that the other parent engaged in conduct that poses a serious danger to the child, such as physical or sexual abuse, drug use, or driving while intoxicated. However, significant proof may be necessary to meet the evidentiary standard.

If a parent is found to be abusing allocated parenting time, 750 ILCS §5/607.5 provides a number of potential remedies, including requiring the non-compliant parent to attend family counseling, post a cash bond, pay fines, or provide makeup time. A dedicated visitation attorney in Orland Park could help an individual determine whether abuse has occurred in their case and seek to remedy it in court.

Parenting Time of Grandparents

Grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, and step-parents have visitation rights under Illinois law. However, the law presumes that a child’s parents know what is best regarding access and visitation for these parties so the “rights” apply in limited circumstances.

If an individual falls into one of these categories and would like greater parenting time rights than those allotted by a child’s parents, they would need to file a petition for parenting time and show that the restrictions placed by the parents pose undue harm to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health, as per 750 ILCS §5/602.9.

Contact an Orland Park Visitation Attorney

In seeking to protect the best interests of children, Illinois lawmakers have set up a system that can make it difficult to determine exactly what rights parents have to parenting time. An experienced Orland Park visitation lawyer from Reidy Law Group LLC could explain your options and advocate on your behalf to set parenting time schedules that serve the best interests of your family. Call (708) 580-6767 now to talk to one of our attorneys and learn how we could help protect your rights.