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Illinois Visitation Rights — Modification of a Parenting Order

By Leslie Fineberg on May 17, 2013

After a divorce, one parent is typically designated as the primary residential parent of the children, for purposes such as school district selection and mailing address.  This is the parent with whom the children spend the majority of their time. That parent is from that time forward referred to as the “custodial parent.”  “Visitation” rights, or the right to spend parenting time with the children, are then granted to the “noncustodial” parent, unless there are reasons for denying or supervising parenting time.

It is possible to petition the Court to change a visitation order.  An order may be modified if necessary to serve the best interests of the children.  Some reasons for modifying a visitation order may include the following:

  • One parent may have moved.  Due to the move, the visitation schedule no longer works for either parent.
  • The work schedule of the noncustodial parent has changed, and he or she is no longer able to spend time with the children during the visitation times specified in the old visitation order.
  • The noncustodial parent has failed to follow the original schedule contained in the visitation order.
  • The noncustodial parent has made the decision not to visit with the children at all as specified in the original visitation order.
  • Any other reason by virtue of which change would be in the best interests of the children.

The primary focus of any petition to change an original visitation order should be on the responses to two important questions:

  • How have circumstances changed since the original visitation order?
  • How would changing the original visitation order be in the best interest of the children?

At the Chicago law firm of Nottage & Ward, our child visitation attorneys understand that both parents want what is in the best interest of their children.  We have 25 years of experience handling the complexities of divorce, especially when children are involved.  If you have children and are planning to divorce, we encourage you to call us at (312) 332-2915 to allow us to guide you rationally through a difficult process.

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