When an Illinois couple shares a child and decides to part ways, the best interests of the child are paramount. Unless there is some issue that makes it preferable for the child not to have contact with one of the parents, it will be beneficial for the child to have contact with both parents. This is why visitation rights are so important. The state has laws in place requiring that visitation be granted.
The parent who does not have custody of the child will be allowed to have visitation. The exceptions are if the child will be placed in danger physically, mentally, morally, or emotionally if visitation is granted. If the custodial parent does not have an identified address, alternative arrangements for visitation with the non-custodial parent will be made. Visitation is defined as time spent between the non-custodial parent and the child. This might also involve electronic communication at junctures that the court will determine.
Grandparents, siblings, and other relatives can bring an action requesting visitation. “Sibling” means brothers, sisters, step-brothers, or step-sisters. These family members can also request electronic communication with the child. The filing for visitation by a person who is not a parent must be made in the county where the child lives.
It is allowable for these relatives to file for visitation if there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation rights by the parent and if one of the following has happened: the other parent has died or has been missing for a minimum of three months; the parent has been found incompetent; the parent is incarcerated in the three months before the filing; the parents have divorced, legally separated or dissolution to the marriage is pending, and at least one parent does not object to the relatives having visitation; and if the child is born out of wedlock or the parents are not cohabitating and the relative seeking visitation is a grandparent, great-grandparent or sibling.
The minor child will be allowed to have a say in the visitation if he or she is deemed to be of sufficient maturity. Considering the benefits of a child of divorce to have contact with both parents and other relatives, visitation rights are taken very seriously by the state. Naturally, with any situation as emotionally difficult as the end of a relationship and child custody, it is key to have experienced legal assistance.
Source: ilga.gov, “Sec. 607. Visitation.,” accessed on July 15, 2015