While a divorce is never a pleasant process, it can be made more challenging with the negotiation of child custody and visitation. Even with children out of wedlock, negotiating terms of custody and visitation with the other parent might not always go in your favor. And as a responsible parent yourself, who loves your children just as much as your co-parent, you deserve to be a part of your child’s life. Thankfully, with help from Essig Law Office, this can be made possible! If you’re unsure of how to secure visitation rights or are worried your ex-partner will put up a fight, allow our family law attorneys to help.
The Illinois Standard
In Illinois and other states throughout the country, visitation rights are based primarily on what is in the child’s best interests. For example, if one parent is found to be abusive, recently incarcerated, or otherwise, custody and visitation will likely be awarded solely to the other parent. However, for child custody cases, a judge goes into each with the reasonable assumption that a child’s best interests are served by keeping both parents involved in their life. So, if relationships with your ex-partner are amicable enough and you pose no serious harm to your children, you’ll likely be awarded visitation rights.
Custodial Parent vs. Noncustodial Parent
As a part of Illinois custody law, there are two primary types of child custody: physical and legal. When it comes to physical custody, this is who the child primarily lives with. This parent is also considered the “custodial” parent. For legal custody, a parent can help make major educational, medical or religious decisions for their child, but the child doesn’t necessarily have to be living with the parent. This parent is considered the “noncustodial” parent.
As mentioned previously, a judge is likely to award a noncustodial parent with visitation rights as long as they pose no harm to a child’s safety and well-being. As such, it’s essential to keep in mind that a custodial parent, no matter how strained your relationship might be, cannot restrict your visitation rights. Only in extreme cases where the child’s safety is at immediate risk is such a scenario acceptable. Otherwise, you and the custodial parent can negotiate best times for you to visit, or a judge can assist in creating a schedule.
Where Essig Law Can Help
By now, you might be thinking about how straightforward custody and visitation rights sound. And, for the most part, you’re right! As long as both parents are agreeable and the child’s best interests are taken into account, you’ll likely be able to secure visitation rights easily. However, unique scenarios can impact your or your ex-partner’s custody or visitation claims. For example, problems can arise when:
- Parents Can’t Agree – If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on a fair way to divide your child’s time between the two of you, getting an attorney involved might be your only option. In cases where parents can’t agree, your custody case will go to court. And if you want the best shot at convincing a judge your custody or visitation terms are best, you’ll want an attorney to back you up.
- Restrictive Visitation – We all have our struggles, which can take time to overcome. However, based on you and your ex-partner’s personal situations, a judge might rule in favor of restricting visitations. For example, you might not be able to keep your child overnight or won’t be allowed to visit with your child outside the custodial parent’s home. If these are some of the restrictions you find yourself facing, talk with Essig Law. We can help appeal a visitation decision and prove your case to a judge that such restrictions aren’t necessary.
- Concerns Over Well-Being – As you already know, a child’s best interests and well-being are integral to any custody or visitation decisions a judge might make. As such, as long as parents don’t give reason to doubt their intents, an agreeable arrangement can be reached. However, you know your ex-partner better than a judge does. If you have legitimate concerns over your child’s well-being if placed in the other parent’s care, hire Essig Law Office. We will help you secure evidence and convincingly present your case, so you can ensure your children are in good hands.
Talk with Our Team
You have a right to be a part of your child’s life just as much as your ex-partner does. As such, ensuring your visitation rights is crucial to maintaining a long and happy relationship with your children. And if you face uncertainty in your path towards custody or fair visitation terms, give the attorney duo at Essig Law Office a call. You can contact us today at 309-444-8041 to schedule a consultation. Also, our office is located at 135 Washington Square, Washington, IL 61571.