How to get a visitation order in Illinois?
The state of Illinois views visitation rights as a critically important element within the divorce process. Courts always take into consideration the legal and moral rights of both parents to see their children.
The court will work out a predetermined schedule with the couple, setting forth a specific time-frame for visitation with the non-custodial parent.
However, if the custodial parent fails to comply with the formal agreement mandated by the court, the non-custodial parent can obtain a “court-order” to protect their visitation rights.
Without a court order, the non-custodial parent may not be able to prevent the custodial parent from making unilateral decisions that may undermine, weaken, or damage the time spent with your child.
A court-order legally protects the initial agreement discussed or negotiated during a divorce proceeding, agreed too by both parties concerning visitation rights.
Violation of a court-order will have two possible outcomes for the violator. The first is criminal in nature, the second is civil. Whether the court chooses one or the other depends on the actual nature of the offense.
Under Illinois law, interference with visitation rights can be a crime punishable by up to one year in jail upon the third conviction. You can also pursue the matter civilly by filing a petition for rule to show cause (contempt) against the custodial parent.
Child Visitation Laws in Illinois
The court rarely restricts couples from freely seeing their children in either a “joint custody” agreement or a “sole custody” arraignment, unless it is absolutely necessary to protecting the child’s welfare or legal rights.
In Illinois, the term “parenting time” has become a legal term, considered more appropriate than the terms “visitation” or “parental responsibilities.” The terminology is more family friendly, rather than confrontational, between couples dealing with joint custody issues.
Determining who wins and who loses can be an emotional roller-coaster ride, and a negative way of handling a custody dispute.
However, the court has absolute authority and can create whatever mandates are required in protecting the welfare and well-being of the child including:
- Visit supervision
- Location Designation
- Visitation restrictions for parents under the influence of alcohol or abusing substances
- Overnight visitation restrictions for parents under the influence
Under certain unique circumstances, grandparents, great-grandparents, and stepparents may ask for a visitation order from the court if they have been denied reasonable visitation from the divorced parenting couple.
For example a grandmother may be denied seeing her grandchild by her former daughter-in-law.