Children of Divorce and a Father’s Visitation Rights

Aurora family law attorney, Chicago divorce, child custody, children of divorce ,DuPage County family law attorney, family law, father’s visitation rights, Illinois family law attorney, visitation, visitation rightsIf you have children and are considering a divorce, the process will be all the more complicated. Not only will you need to resolve matters of property division, alimony, and the dissolution or separation of a shared business, you will have to determine child custody, visitation rights, and child support payments. It is often assumed that mothers automatically receive full custody, but this is not the case in Illinois. All parents in Illinois are given visitation rights unless it is deemed not in the best interest of the child.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, any parent not awarded custody has a right to see the child as long as the Court does not determine “that visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.” Visitation does not necessarily include electronic communication—this is considered separately from actual visitation. Visitation refers to in-person time spent with the child. Electronic communication refers to Skype or other forms of video chatting, electronic mail, or telephone time.

If the non-custodial parent does not take advantage of his or her visitation rights within at least three months, the other parent can petition to deny or limit future visitation rights, according to the Illinois General Assembly. This is also the case if the non-custodial parent has been in jail or prison “during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition.”

Having contact with both parents is not only deemed important by the State of Illinois, but also by psychologists and leading medical professionals. Yet according to MedScape.com, it can be better for girls of divorce to live with their mothers and boys of divorce to live with their fathers. Psychological studies conducted with children of divorce reveal that although most children with divorced parents experience “more behavioral and conduct problems” than children with two-parent families, “divorced boys living with their fathers and divorced daughters living with their mothers showed fewer effects than children living with the opposite-sex parent.”

Understanding visitation rights are essential when going through divorce and child custody battles. If you or someone you know is considering divorce in Illinois and have children, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

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