When couples divorce, the number of issues that need to be addressed is considerable; and when there are children involved, the complexity of these issues is compounded. In addition to separating property and determining support (both spousal and child), one of the most critical decisions divorced couples must make is regarding visitation.
As a married couple, you and your spouse were used to virtually unlimited access to your children. You likely had to “divide and conquer” when necessary (like when the kids had simultaneous activities or one parent had to work or travel), but, on the whole, if you were home, you always had the opportunity to say good night or good morning.
Now, as a single household transitions to two, important decisions must be made. Your parenting time is going to be impacted; creating an appropriate plan is critical.
The child custody lawyers at Wolf & Stec are ready to go to work for you as you begin a new chapter as a parent. Reach out today at 630-305-0222 to schedule a free consultation.
Perhaps the most important quality in choosing a family law firm with which to work, is that firm’s experience in handling cases like yours. In Illinois, the attorneys at Wolf & Stec are well-known for handling situations surrounding visitation for divorced couples who have children.
When you engage us we will leverage the following on your behalf:
When you decide to work with Wolf & Stec you can rest assured that we will devote our time, energy and expertise to your case. The time you spend with your children impacts your relationship with them and affects both of your lives. Our visitation lawyers will devote all of their efforts to negotiating the most favorable arrangement on your behalf.
We understand and appreciate the importance of appropriate parenting plans. The visitation schedules determined will lay the groundwork for access to your child as they continue to grow and mature.
Experienced representation is a critical component of this process. You want to know that the decisions made are in the best interests of your child and that your spouse is not taking advantage of your current situation. You want to work with professionals who know Illinois child custody law and are experienced in handling cases for individuals in similar situations. Additionally, you want to be sure that you are comfortable with your attorneys. The emotional aspect of these issues cannot be understated, so you want to work with a team who appreciates your position and will work tirelessly to protect your future relationship with your kids.
We appreciate the importance these decisions will have on your life and those of your children. Taking the time to understand all of the details regarding your situation is one of the hallmarks of our practice. We will use this information to help you get the time with your children you need and deserve.
In all child custody cases, our team is a valuable asset. Reach out to us today to schedule a no-cost consultation and learn how we can help.
In all circumstances, parenting is complicated. However, when parents get divorced, it becomes exponentially more challenging.
While many are familiar with the words “custody” and “visitation” with regard to divorced couples’ parenting, in Illinois they have been replaced with the term “parenting time.” According to the law, a parenting plan must be proposed by couples within 120 days of their divorce. This document identifies the amount of time the child/children will spend with each parent, as well as exactly what each parent is responsible for with regard to the care and well-being of their children.
When parenting agreements are drafted, a host of things are taken into account. These include, but are not limited to:
Depending upon the age of the child, their wishes may be considered. And, of course, issues including child or domestic abuse, drug abuse, and addiction would impact all decisions made.
In a perfect world, both parents would agree on a parenting plan and move forward together. However, we do not live in a perfect world, and divorcing spouses often have very different ideas of what is best for their minor children. In situations like this, the courts help determine an appropriate parenting plan.
Working with a seasoned child custody attorney to create your parenting plan is wise. You want to make sure that your concerns are clearly communicated and that the drafted plan appropriately represents them.
Custody in Illinois is not black and white, nor is it all or nothing. After a divorce, all decisions regarding the care and well-being of your children will be made based on what is in their best interests.
Custody is segmented into two areas — physical and legal. As you would expect, physical custody refers to the individual with whom the child lives. In most cases, the child/children will split time between the parents. The parent who is deemed the custodial parent is the one with whom the child spends the majority of time. The other parent is referred to as the non-custodial parent.
On the other hand, legal custody, also referred to as parenting responsibilities, refers to decision-making authority. In many cases, even when physical custody distribution is unequal, parents will share legal custody. Among the decisions parents with legal custody must make are those regarding religion, health and medication and education. Parents with joint legal custody must work together regarding these issues.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances (for example abuse or neglect), children should spend time with both of their parents — custodial and non-custodial. Appropriate visitation will be determined in your parenting plan and should take into account the specifics of your family and your children.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines minimum visitation requirements for non-custodial parents. In general, this is one night a week of visitation, every other weekend overnight visits, and a longer visit over the summer. Be aware, in certain situations (like when the non-custodial parent lives a great distance away), modifications to this will be made. Your visitation lawyer can explain your rights in more detail and make sure they are represented in your parenting plan.
Grandparents often play an integral role in the lives of their grandchildren. These relationships can be incredibly beneficial to both parties. That said, grandparents don’t have automatic visitation rights in Illinois. The law does provide the opportunity for a grandparent (or great grandparent) to file a petition to obtain visitation rights. They may be granted, assuming certain specific conditions.
Perhaps one of the greatest skills our attorneys bring to your visitation case is our ability to actively listen. We carefully absorb all of the details of your situation as the information you provide is critical in advocating for your best interests.
Our clients raise a host of questions during our meetings, many of which are specific to their family situation. That said, they also have more general concerns, questions to which the answers are applicable to everyone involved in the visitation process in Illinois
We have shared some of the questions we hear most often and our attorneys’ responses to them. Please, take some time to read through them as their answers may provide you the clarity you need to begin to address your personal visitation issues.
No. While many families do have a parenting time agreement where 50/50 parenting time has been determined, it is not a mandate or a default. Instead, Illinois law states that “The court shall allocate parenting time according to the child’s best interests.”
Visitation rights in Illinois are not delineated by parental role, but instead by the best interests of the child. The custodial parent, the one with whom the child resides the majority of the time, can be either the mother or the father. The non-custodial parent will then have visitation rights as outlined in the parenting agreement created after the divorce.
In Illinois, certain conditions must exist in order for grandparents to be granted visitation rights. Among those a grandparent may cite in order to obtain visitation are a deceased or missing parent, an incompetent parent, or an incarcerated parent. Other reasons, as stated in 750 ILCS 5/602.9 are also valid.
Yes, according to 750 ILCS 5/610.5 (a), visitation can be changed. But changes can only be made two years after the initial agreement unless the child is in danger or there has been a substantial change of circumstances.
No, Illinois law considers visitation time and child support as two separate issues. So, you must allow your spouse to maintain their regular visitation schedule even if they are behind on child support payments. In fact, if you did not, you would not be upholding the terms of your parenting agreement. Your visitation attorney can help you address nonpayment issues.
We recognize that you have many more questions regarding visitation rights in Illinois. Reach out to our team to schedule a no-cost consultation. During this meeting we can learn more about your situation and answer your specific questions.
When you have concerns regarding visitation rights in Illinois, your first course of action should be to contact an experienced child custody lawyer. This individual’s knowledge and experience is necessary to protect your relationship with your children. At Wolf & Stec, our team knows Illinois law and has considerable experience with visitation rights.
We bring a sense of calm to an incredibly emotional and frustrating process. Our approach to service is client-focused; we are always available to answer questions and address your concerns. When you engage us, we fight for your goals as if they were our own. The value of family is considerable, and we will fight for yours.
Reach out to us today at 305-0222 to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to learning more about your family and your situation and helping to address your current situation. Whether you need to create, modify or enforce a parenting plan, we are the law firm of choice. We appreciate that timing is a priority and are ready to go to work for you immediately.