Using Parenting Time And Visitation Orders To Protect Relationships
When parents divorce, their children can feel the impact of their family’s breakup daily. A fair parenting time agreement can lessen divorce’s negative effects and help children transition to a new stage in their lives. For a critical matter like this, you can find peace of mind working alongside a skilled attorney.
Since 1992, Paul Chiligiris has provided compassionate, wise counsel to clients throughout central Illinois facing difficult family law issues. Whether you are engaged in divorce or are seeking a visitation order, Paul can guide you through the process efficiently. He takes the time you need to explain complex legal concerns, including the information below.
Determining A Schedule
Once the parties and/or the judge has determined how the parenting time will be allocated, the next issue that is decided is the parenting time schedule. The schedule is set using the best interest of the child standard. It is presumed that it is in the best interest of the child that both parents spend time with their child. The only way this time can be curtailed or supervised is upon a showing of serious endangerment to the minor child. Courts tend to favor liberal visitation as opposed to restricting visitation.
Parenting time schedules can be whatever the parties agree upon. Many divorced couples opt for alternating weekends and alternating major holidays in setting visitation with the child. Others never define a schedule and give it to the other parent whenever they agree. The problem with this type of arrangement is that it is hard to enforce it if one party refuses to agree to allow the other party to see the children.
Misconceptions About Parenting Time
One common misconception people have regarding parenting time is that they can withhold it if they are not receiving child support. This is not true. Child support and parenting time are not related. Therefore, parties cannot punish each other for late child support payments by withholding access to their child and vice versa.
Understanding Visitation Orders
Grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings may not petition to receive parenting time. However, they may be entitled to visitation. A grandparent or nonparent can file for visitation if there is an unreasonable denial of visitation by a parent and at least one of the following conditions exists:
- A parent is deceased.
- A parent is incompetent as a matter of law.
- A parent has been incarcerated in prison for three months.
- The parents are divorced or separated or never married and not living together and the visitation will not interfere with the noncustodial parent’s visitation.
Visitation will be allowed if a court finds it in the child’s best interests. The courts will, however, review recent Supreme Court Decisions, and give weight to a reasonable parent’s decision.