Representing the Child Parenting Time Rights of Chicago-Area Residents

Northbrook Family Law Attorneys

Attorneys in Northbrook and Chicago cover every aspect of parenting time, from physical to virtual visits

When a court awards one parent custody of a child, the other parent is awarded “reasonable” parenting time rights. Exactly what those rights are depends upon the court’s application of Illinois law to its interpretation of the facts and circumstances at hand. The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. knows on which points the Illinois courts are sticklers and on which judicial discretion may be exercised, and helps ensure your parenting time rights argument is heard.

Parenting Time is focused on the interests of the children

The courts start their allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time deliberations with the assumption that the best interests of the child are fostered by having a healthy and close relationship with both parents. If one parent is awarded custody, the noncustodial parent still has the right to see and spend quality time with the child. As long as the parent is not a danger to the child’s safety and health, the noncustodial parent can remain a part of the child’s life.

What are a noncustodial parents’ rights regarding parenting time?

When allocation of parental responsibilities is awarded, the noncustodial parent has a right to “reasonable” parenting time. What’s reasonable depends on the circumstances, including the child’s age and whether the noncustodial parent has a history of substance or domestic abuse. Even in cases of serious abuse, the court is likely to permit some parenting time, although it may order supervision or other restrictions to ensure the child’s safety. The noncustodial parent also has the right to know how the child is doing and what is happening in the child’s life.

The custodial parent must give the noncustodial parent the opportunity to participate in major decisions regarding the child’s well-being, unless the custodial parent has been given sole legal custody and the final say on major decisions. In all other situations, the noncustodial parent has the right to seek legal action if the custodial parent excludes the noncustodial parent from the decision-making process.

What if the custodial parent denies the noncustodial parent access?

A custodial parent may not deny the noncustodial parent court-ordered time with the child on any basis, including retaliation for late child support payments. If a parent suddenly presents a danger to the child’s well-being, the other parent should file for a modification to the prevailing parenting time order as soon as possible.

The noncustodial parent has the right to seek legal action if the custodial parent restricts access beyond the scope of the divorce order.

How can the court restrict parenting time?

Besides a blanket restriction, if the court feels the noncustodial parent is a threat to the child’s well-being, the court may curtail parenting time in any number of ways, such as:

  • Prohibit overnight visits
  • Require the visits to occur in the custodial parent’s home
  • Require the visits to occur outside the home of the noncustodial parent
  • Require the visits to be supervised by a third party
  • Forbid a parent from contacting the child while the parent is under the influence of mind-altering substances

What is virtual parenting time?

Thanks to technology, parents can be in closer contact with their children through email, cellphones, webcams and the like. In 2010 Illinois became the sixth state to enact virtual child parenting time law, Sections 607 and 609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defining electronic communication as the time a parent spends with a child through communication tools such as the Internet and email.

What if there is a substantial change in either parent’s — or the child’s — circumstances?

All divorce terms of child parenting time may be modified, generally after two years have passed, but sooner if an emergency arises.

What about grandparent rights to parenting time?

Illinois law sees grandparent parenting time primarily as a privilege, though in certain situations, grandparents’ rights may be awarded. The parents of an unwed father have no rights to visit their purported grandchild; once their son exercises his father’s rights and secures his paternity as the legal father, the issue of grandparent visits may be addressed.

Retain a lawyer who knows Illinois parenting time law inside-out

When it comes to preserving your relationship with your child, you need an experienced family law attorney who is vigilant and tenacious. The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. has 25 years’ experience protecting and asserting the parenting time rights of parents. Call us at 847.897.5288 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today. We maintain conveniently located offices in Northbrook and the Chicago Loop.