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What is the law for visitation rights for non-custodial parents?

With child custody issues in Illinois, there are often emotions and disputes. Even the most amicable divorces or circumstances in which the parents of a child are no longer together can degenerate into a constant battle when it comes to visitation rights. When a couple shares a child, it is important to understand how the state law views these cases and what is required of both parents to ensure the child has sufficient time and a relationship with the custodial and non-custodial parent.

A parent who does not have custody of a child will be allowed to have a reasonable amount of visitation with the child unless the child will be placed in danger. That danger will include mental, physical, emotional or moral health. For a custodial parent who does not have an identified address, the court will mandate that an alternative location for the visitation take place with the non-custodial parent.

There are certain situations in which visitation will include electronic communication. The time and conditions of this is at the discretion of the court. With electronic communication, the child will be spending time with the parent and not be in physical contact with him or her. The visitation will be possible through email, telephone, instant messages, video calls or other technologies that are commonly available.

The court has the power to put forth an agreement modification that can grant or deny visitation privileges of a parent if it is in the child's best interests. This will not be done unless there is a finding that the child's health will be placed in jeopardy if visitation takes place. A parent who is deployed or will be deployed in the U.S. military can designate a person who is familiar with the child and vice versa to have substitute visitation rights in the place of the deployed parent. This is also contingent on the court's determination of the child's best interests.

There are other matters regarding visitation rights that are connected to grandparents, siblings, stepparents and others who have an interest in the child. If there are concerns or disagreements about any child custody issues, speaking to a legal professional experienced in parenting time can provide advice, guidance and legal help to parents on either side of the equation.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Sec. 607. Visitation.," accessed on Dec. 1, 2015

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