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Parenting Time (Visitation)

Starting in 2016, Illinois enacted changes in its child custody laws, affecting both policies and common terminology. What was once called visitation has been replaced with the term parenting time. While the new term is mostly a cosmetic replacement for visitation, it acknowledges that a parent does not simply visit with their child, but rather participates in the raising, nurturing and parenting of their child.

Parental Agreement Vs. A Court Order

In most cases, it is preferable for the parties and the children for both parents to negotiate and agree upon a written parenting plan (otherwise known as a parental allocation judgment). Negotiating, often through your respective attorneys, saves time and money and gives parents the most control over the outcome. If a parenting plan is fair and in the best interests of the children, a Judge will usually approve it.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, the Court will allocate parenting time after considering over a dozen different factors. These factors generally relate to each parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child, the wishes and preferences of all involved, and the presence of any behaviors or other factors that could endanger or harm the child.

How We Can Help You

Whether you want to negotiate a parenting plan or if litigation is inevitable, you need the help of an experienced lawyer. At Gauthier Family Law, we believe in seeking peaceful resolutions when possible, as this is often in the best interests of children. However, if your spouse is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we will not hesitate to fight for you and your children in Court.

Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation

Gauthier Family Law is a Vernon Hills law firm serving clients in Lake and McHenry counties. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, please fill out our online contact form or call us at 847-327-0898.