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Child Visitation Rights for Non-Custodial Parents

If you and your spouse have recently gone through a divorce, you understand the importance of working with a family law and divorce attorney in Rockford, IL. Hiring a legal professional who has experience in child custody battles is essential when you’re trying to protect your parental rights.

When two people are fighting for custody, their judgment is often clouded by emotion. As a result, their child’s best interests may not be the sole focus of the debate. This is why it’s important to work with a trusted family law attorney who can help both parents make impartial decisions.

The Crosby Law Firm has extensive experience working with families in the midst of custody battles, and those working out visitation schedules. When you have questions or concerns regarding your rights to spend time with your children, our lawyers are here to help.

Non-Custodial Parent Visitation Rights

In many cases, one parent is typically granted sole custody of the child. So, how often do non-custodial parents get to visit their child or children, and for how long? Below are some basics regarding child visitation rights.

What is Child Visitation Law?

Child visitation law deems that non-custodial parents are entitled to visitation, or “parenting time,” with their child. All biological parents are protected under this law unless a court determines, after a hearing, that the child’s mental, moral or physical health would be negatively impacted by visitation.

Time spent with the non-custodial parent can and should be agreed upon by both parents. However, sometimes lawyers have to negotiate on each parent’s behalf.

State courts often handle child visitation law as well as other family-related topics, such as alimony, divorce, child support, and child custody. If two parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own regarding custody and/or visitation, the court needs to step in and help make decisions.

How is Visitation Determined?

When the court has to get involved and help determine the visitation rights afforded to the non-custodial parent, they focus on what is best for the child. Generally, the court considers it in the child’s best interest to spend time and develop relationships with both biological parents.

If the court has reason to believe sole custody should be awarded to one parent, it is still unlikely the other parent will not retain visitation rights. Even lack of ability or refusal to pay child support does not usually result in the loss of parental visitation.

How Courts Determine the Best Interest of the Child – Checklist

The court will decide what is in the best interest of the child by determining what situation will best support their physical and emotional health and development. In doing so, they usually assess three factors, including:

  • The child’s wishes
  • The child’s adjustment to their current place of residence
  • The mental and physical health of the child and parents

After determining a set of rules regarding visitation, the parents are supposed to adhere to these schedules. However, it’s not uncommon for one or both parents to struggle to feel comfortable allowing the other to spend allotted time with their child. In these scenarios, there are often legal disputes and disagreements.

Sole & Shared Custody Schedules – Common Disputes

Even after a court decides on visitation rights, it’s unfortunately common for one parent to be unhappy with the situation and demand the schedule again be altered. Another issue often encountered is when one parent feels as though the child is not being properly cared for during their time spent with the other parent.

One parent may also keep a child longer than the agreed upon amount of time. Some parents who obtain sole custody of a child may find ways to use visitation against the non-custodial parent in an effort to control them, or when the child spends time with them.

The same issue can apply to cases where one parent is obligated to provide child support. They may refuse to send payments in an effort to get something they want in return, such as more time with the child.

When a parent does not have legal custody of a child, they cannot make major decisions in regards to the child’s welfare. However, if parents share custody, this can result in frequent disagreements regarding health decisions, education, and other important life matters. In these situations, children may feel stuck constantly watching their parents fight over their welfare, which can be detrimental to their happiness and wellbeing.

How are Disputes Settled?

When there is a dispute between parents regarding child visitation, custody, or any matter that may impact the child’s safety or development, working with an attorney is highly recommended.

Settling a matter in court or with a lawyer’s assistance prevents parents from fixating on their relationship with each other instead of focusing on their child’s health and happiness. At The Crosby Law Firm, we are well-versed in family law. Our team always puts the best interests of the child first by prioritizing their physical, emotional, and developmental needs.

How Visitation Rights are Established

Visitation rights are often established at the same time as other facets of a family law case. Once custody is decided, the non-custodial parent may file a motion for visitation. It must then be approved by the court; a process made much easier if the parents are in agreement beforehand.

If there is not a case already taking place in court, the parent who is seeking visitation must initiate one. This is possible, however, the modification process is one of the most heavily litigated issues in family law.

It is best to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to address custody issues before attempting to win a case on your own. Our Rockford lawyers at The Crosby Law Firm are available to help with all aspects of divorce and family law.

Contact The Crosby Law Firm for Child Visitation & Custody Representation

Contact The Crosby Law Firm today if you have any questions or concerns about your child visitation rights. We offer free consultations, flat fees, no hourly charges, and payment plan options.

Call us now to get the legal advice you need.(815) 397-2006

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Very thorough and professional. Staff is detail oriented, kind and compassionate. Handled my case quickly, saving me thousands of dollars. 10/10 would definitely hire again.

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The Crosby Law Firm, specifically Danielle Burza- Smith helped me with my landlord and estate planning issues. Danielle explained everything really well! Would definitely recommend!

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Really good firm !!! Everyone there has made me feel welcome and when talking to attorney I feel like I’m talking to a friend. Staff is polite and very accommodating not to mention they always answer all of my questions and have never made me feel degraded because I don’t understand legal lingo like another firm did to me. Highly recommended !!!

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