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 spends most of their time, while the other parent has some form of visitation rights with the child.

Visitation, also referred to as “parenting time” in Illinois, is a schedule that provides a noncustodial parent the opportunity to spend time with their child. Our experienced firm 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 in Will County 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.

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, as listed 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 visitation attorney could review many more factors that may affect the parenting time and visitation rights awarded in your divorce.

You should also be aware that some of the factors used in determining visitation are somewhat subjective. Understanding how these factors affect visitation schedules may help you and your spouse create a unique parenting time plan that fits your family.

Other Considerations

In some circumstances, traditional visitation may not meet the specific needs of your child. If one parent is struggling with substance abuse or has a history of behavior that could be detrimental to a child’s well-being, the court may mandate supervised visitation until these 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 your child’s best interests, and not necessarily those of yourself, your spouse, or the court.

Let Our Knowledgeable Legal Team Assist You

Your child’s health, safety, and well-being are all important considerations. If circumstances arise that require visitation to be part of your divorce settlement, our dedicated visitation lawyers could help you navigate the nuances of custody law in Will County.

If you have questions or concerns about visitation with your child, call our firm today to see how we 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.