Child visitation orders must accommodate the paramount consideration of assuring the child's welfare. The Illinois visitation statute provides that "a parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds after a hearing, that visitation would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health." 750 ILCS 5/607. Visitation can be modified. The statute provides that "the court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights of a parent whenever modification would serve the best interest of the child . . " 750 ILCS 5/607(c). Grandparent visitation rights have been controversial, but there are agreements and court orders providing for grandparent visitation rights that are enforceable in court.

The visitation statute does not contain any standard visitation schedule. However, local court rules may contain standard or suggested schedules. The experienced attorneys of Shaw, Jacobs, Goostree & Associates, P.C., can help provide a schedule based upon your situation. The court can consider numerous factors in determining visitation rights and scheduling, including the age of the child, the relationship between the parent and child, the distance between the parent and child, the school schedule and any other factors affecting the best interest of the child.

One of the frequently asked questions involves the difference in visitation schedules depending on whether it is sole or joint custody. The short answer might be that there is no difference. In either case the schedule may be identical. There may be an implication that because the parents have opted for joint custody that the noncustodial parent may have greater responsibility and more parenting time by agreement; however, sole custody can provide for as much visitation as joint custody. The terms "sole" and "joint" do not provide for more or less "visitation." "Joint" custody has more to do with a "parenting agreement" which delineates certain responsibilities for each parent. Although “visitation” is commonly referred to in sole or joint custody cases, it is technically correct to refer to "visitation" in sole custody cases and "parenting time" in joint custody cases.

Most questions of visitation have to do with scheduling and the rules or restrictions. The schedule can depend on the age of the child, the parents' schedules, whether is it during the school year or summer, the distance between the parents and any other factor affecting the best interest of the child. At Shaw, Jacobs, Goostree & Associates, P.C., we have suggested schedules and suggested guidelines for many different situations. We can review and discuss holiday schedules, homework, alcohol usage, overnight guests and many other issues that can be considered. We can advise you what is standard, what to do about holidays, what may and may not work, and how to build in flexibility for family events.

Our Illinois visitation attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, and many other cities. We represent clients who are from the U.K. and from other countries as well.

Please call the divorce attorneys of Shaw, Jacobs, Goostree & Associates, P.C. at (630) 584-4800 to ask a question or set up a confidential free initial consultation regarding Illinois visitation rights.

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