Even if spouses part ways, family courts acknowledge the importance of relationship building between the child and each parent. Especially in divorce and separation cases, it is beneficial for the child to create a meaningful connection with each parent to ensure the child’s well-being.
This is why Illinois laws provide parenting time rights to parents who do not have physical custody of their children.
Visitation frequency and duration
The details of visitation depend on the circumstances of each case because unique factors are at play and might apply to all child custody cases. However, Illinois laws have set a minimum visitation schedule which includes visits:
- One night on weekdays
- Overnights every other weekend
- Stretched during summer breaks
It is good to note that this is not a fixed schedule and that the courts merely use this as a guide. The courts can modify the terms, add more days and make other changes that may apply to the situation. Moreover, there are cases when the courts restrict visitation rights due to the risk of endangerment to the child’s physical, mental or emotional health.
Deciding on the terms
The court expects the parents to decide on the terms of the visitation because they are the ones who know specific details about their child, including birthdays, holidays and even the child’s preferences. Sometimes, there are disputes between the parents, and mediation is the best way to resolve them.
Once the parents agree on the terms, the court reviews the schedule and terms. The court can either approve it entirely or make modifications if the judge deems them fit. When making decisions in child custody cases, the courts take the child’s best interest as the top determining factor.