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Assisting With Child Visitation Cases

When parents are divorced, separated, or unmarried, determining how children will divide time between them can be a complex, emotional process. However, it is important to remember that children can benefit from having a close relationship with both parents, and an attorney can help create an arrangement that provides them with regular time with both their mother and father.

The compassionate attorneys of Laraia & Whitty, P.C. are dedicated to protecting children’s best interests in divorce and family law cases, and we can provide you with the legal help you need as you work to create an agreement that meets your family’s needs. We will work to protect your parental rights and help you reach a resolution that allows you to have a close, ongoing relationship with your children.

Parenting Time Under Illinois Law

In 2016, Illinois law was updated to address the changing realities of modern parenting. Instead of granting physical custody to one parent and allowing the other to have visitation, courts now divide parenting time between both parents, recognizing that mothers and fathers both play a significant role in raising their children.

During the divorce process, parents are encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan that details how parenting time will be divided on a regular, day-to-day basis, as well as for vacations, holidays, parents’ and children’s birthdays, and any other special days. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting time schedule, parenting time may be allocated by the court. In these cases, a judge will consider a number of factors when deciding what arrangement would best protect children’s best interests. These factors include:

  • The wishes of the parents and children
  • The amount of time each parent spent on “caretaking functions,” including feeding, dressing, bathing, and playing with children, providing discipline, giving instruction, and attending to their educational needs within the two years prior to when a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities was filed
  • Children’s relationships with other family members
  • The mental and physical health of all parties
  • The parents’ willingness and ability to encourage children to have a close relationship with the other parent

Parents are presumed to be fit, and they are entitled to reasonable parenting time, even if they are not allocated significant decision-making responsibilities for their children. In some cases, courts may choose to restrict a parent’s parenting time, such as if a parent has a history of domestic violence, if they are a registered sex offender, or if they have continuously interfered with the other parent’s parenting time. In these cases, courts may require parenting time to be supervised, or a parent may be required to complete a treatment program to address domestic abuse or substance abuse issues.

Contact A Family Law Attorney

If you are in the midst of the divorce process or have separated from your children’s other parent, determining how to divide parenting time can be a difficult undertaking. In these cases, it is essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can protect your parental rights and advocate for your children’s best interests. At Laraia & Whitty, P.C., we will work with you to create a workable parenting time schedule, and if necessary, we will aggressively fight for you in court. Contact our office today at 630-228-9984 to arrange your free initial consultation. We serve clients in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Winfield, Warrenville, and throughout DuPage, Will, Cook, Kendall and Kane Counties.