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Petitioning for visitation in Illinois

Petitioning for visitation in Illinois

Chicago parents who do not have custody of their children may consider petitioning for visitation in Illinois. Alternatively, these parents may ask that provisions of this nature be included in their divorce decree. This applies to divorce cases in Cook County, Lake County, Chicago, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and all other areas of Illinois.

Parents who do not have custody are entitled by Illinois laws to reasonable visitation so long as the court does not find that visitation would endanger the child. Visitation includes in-person time spent between the parent and the child and sometimes electronic communication. Third parties may also be entitled to request visitation, including grandparents, siblings and great-grandparents.

The court hearing the case considers several factors in determining whether or not to grant visitation. These factors include the child's preference, the child's mental and physical health, the mental and physical health of the party petitioning for visitation, reasons for denied visitation and the role of the person petitioning for visitation in the child's life. Additionally, stepparents in Illinois can petition the court for visitation. The court determines whether granting visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The court can modify orders pertaining to visitation when doing so would be in the best interest of the child and there has been a material change in circumstance. Additionally, grandparents and great-grandparents can lose their visitation privileges if they have abused their visitation rights by allowing a non-custodial parent to have contact with the child after a court had previously prohibited such contact between the child and the non-custodial parent.

Non-custodial parents who would like to be provided with specific rights regarding their ability to see their children may decide to discuss their case with a family law attorney. By taking this course of action, a non-custodial parent or other party with standing may be able to be awarded rights to visit with the children.

Source: Illinois General Assembly , "Visitation", October 06, 2014

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