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How is visitation granted?

When Illinois couples divorce and cannot come to an agreement regarding pivotal issues such child custody and visitation, state law empowers the court to make determinations with respect to those issues. While making these determinations, the court is to prioritize the best interests of the child. For instance, if the court deems that spending time with one particular parent may imperil the child's wellbeing, then visitation rights may be denied to that parent.

If one parent is granted custody of the child, the other parent will usually seek visitation for specified times. While visitation rights are usually granted to the parents of a child, Illinois family law sometimes allows grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings of a child to petition the court for visitation rights. The court often considers such an appeal when one of the child's parents is deceased, incarcerated or otherwise unavailable. Step-parents may also be granted visitation rights when the court deems that it would be in the best interests of the child.

In this legal sense, visitation refers to a parent or relative and the child spending time together in person. However, there are situations where electronic visitation rights are granted by the court. This type of visitation allows communication by electronic means, such as telephone calls, email messages and computer video conferencing.

Divorcing couples sometimes find it difficult to reach amicable decisions when negotiating over child custody and visitation, especially when spouses become entrenched in their positions. It is important in times like these for each parent to lean on the counsel and representation of a family law attorney, who may help ensure that that a spouse's parental rights remain inviolate throughout negotiations and who may provide specific legal advice. This blog, on the other hand, is intend solely for the purpose of general discussion.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Sec. 607. Visitation. ", October 24, 2014

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