When Illinois parents of minor children get a divorce, it is necessary to determine how much time the children will spend with each of them. This can be decided by the parents or by a judge.
State laws regarding parental visitation vary, but in general, a judge may order a reasonable visitation schedule or a fixed one. The former allows parents to make a schedule themselves. This can be beneficial because it allows them to work around their individual situation, but it is only possible if the parents are able to communicate effectively. Parents who are unable to do this may need to ask the judge to make a fixed visitation schedule. In some cases, a judge may make the decision to do this if it seems as though it will be in the best interests of the child. A fixed visitation schedule can help give the child some stability in the chaos of the divorce.
There are several problems that could arise. One parent could fail to take advantage of the visitation time. This could be difficult to solve because punishing the parent with even less visitation time can hurt the children. A parent who has been abusive may only be permitted supervised visitation. Additionally, there might be situations in which grandparents want visitation, which can be a complicated area depending on the specific circumstances.
Whether parents are negotiating an agreement for child custody and parenting time or a judge is making those decisions, there are a number of factors to take into account. The child’s age, which parent is the main caregiver and the child’s schedule are some of them. Older children might want input into the decision. There may also be times when the schedule needs to be modified as the child gets older or if there are changes in the parents’ responsibilities at work.