Parents who live in separate households often fall into conflict over visitation, whether they are divorced, separated or unmarried. Disputes often arise over the scheduling of parenting time and the venue for visits and specific activities. Parents with animosity toward each other can try to undermine the relationship between the child and the other parent. At the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky, our family lawyers work to resolve these conflicts so our clients can maintain their parental relationships and be a positive force in their child’s life.
Visitation, also known as parenting time, protects a noncustodial parent’s right to maintain a loving relationship with their child. Parents who are not granted physical child custody are usually are granted visitation if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. The law presumes that frequent contact with a parent promotes the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental welfare, but visitation can be tailored to the specific circumstances.
Illinois law provides that a noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time. This may translate, for example, to one weeknight visit per week, overnights every other weekend and an extended summer visit.
The court can restrict or prohibit visitation if contact with the parent would present risks to the child’s safety, stability, or well-being. When concerns for the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health are present, a court can respond by imposing any of these requirements:
The court can prohibit overnight stays as well as other visits with a parent who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Often, the court will list measures the noncustodial parent must take to have the restrictions lifted.
When parents divorce, or a parent passes away, grandparents can find themselves cut off from their grandchildren. In Illinois, grandparents have a limited right to visitation. Courts may grant visitation if it would be in the best interests of the child and one of the following conditions are met:
A court considers multiple factors in grandparent visitation cases, including the grandparents’ health, the quality of their relationship with the child and the parent’s reason for cutting off communication.
In most cases, it is the custodial parent’s duty to prepare the child for visits and to encourage a positive relationship with the noncustodial parent. A court can sanction a parent for attempting to alienate a child’s affections from the other parent. That said, children may have their own preferences, including a wish to end visitation. A child does not have to reach a particular age for the court to entertain such a request. However, unless there are specific circumstances indicating that visitation is detrimental to the child, a court will lean towards preserving it.
The Law Offices of Paul Chatzky helps parents in Northfield and Skokie obtain visitation orders that uphold their parental rights. Call us today at 847-416-1646 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our offices are conveniently located at 790 West Frontage Road in Northfield, just off I-94.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and families. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As a…
Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her studies…