What is Parenting Time?

parenting time, visitation, DuPage County family law attorneyFor many years in Illinois, the parental right to reasonable visitation has been fiercely protected by law. While a court could restrict or limit visitation to protect the child, it would take an extremely serious set of circumstances to completely terminate such rights of a parent. Thanks to a measure passed in Illinois this past year, parents will no longer be considered to have so-called “visitation” with their children. Instead the term to be used will be “parenting time,” more accurately representing the inherent responsibilities.

Changes in Child Custody Laws

The shift from visitation to parenting time is part of an overall larger transformation of the state’s child custody provisions. Concepts of sole and joint custody are being eliminated in favor of a much more cooperative idea of allocated parenting responsibilities. Child custody, as it currently exists, was often a major point of contention for divorcing, separated, or unmarried parents, as many seemed fixated on “winning” or “losing” a custody battle. By focusing on actual parenting responsibilities rather than titles or statuses like custodial and non-custodial parent, the well-being of the child is more likely to remain the top priority.

Parental Responsibilities: Parenting Time

A large part of the law covering the allocation of parental responsibilities refers to dividing up major decision-making authority between the parents. However, it also includes provisions for developing a parenting time schedule that allows each parent reasonable time with child, during which the parent will be responsible for normal caretaking functions. A parent intending to be fully involved with his or her child’s upbringing is likely to be granted significant parenting time, presuming it is in the child’s best interests.

However, even a parent with minimal or no authority for major decision-making is presumed under the law to be entitled to reasonable parenting time. If necessary, the parenting time may be limited, supervised, or restricted to certain locations, for example, similar to current provisions in the law regarding visitation. Likewise, a parent’s right to parenting time may be completely terminated if a court finds that allowing it to continue would represent a danger to the child.

Protect Your Rights

If you are soon to be involved in a case related to child custody, parental responsibility, and parenting time, you need a lawyer committed to serving your needs. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams today. We will remain at your side throughout process, helping you find the best outcome for both yourself and your children.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

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