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Hinsdale Parenting Time Attorney

Skilled DuPage County and Cook County Family Law Attorneys for Parenting Time Matters

Parenting time is the time a parent will be able to spend with their child. Normally, when you have parenting time, your child is in your home staying with you. In some cases, parenting time takes other forms. A parent may be able to spend time with their child during some days, but they may not have overnight parenting time. Supervised visitation is another option in situations where the children's safety and well-being is at issue, but it may still be in the children's best interest to keep seeing the parent. In Illinois, nearly all parents who get divorced or split up will have a parenting time arrangement that gives both parents some parenting time to spend with their children.

Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution for Child Custody

Most parents are able to use strategies like collaborative divorce or mediation to create a parenting plan together. When parents resolve child custody issues without court intervention, children do not need to become involved in the case, and they can be protected from the conflict. Other benefits of alternative dispute resolution for parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities include:

  • Lower cost - Using mediation or attorney-led negotiation is normally far less costly than a trial.
  • Flexibility - Courts often want a clearly structured arrangement. If you create your own parenting time calendar, you can build in some flexibility, designate grandparent time, or account for other unique situations.
  • Personalization - You understand the needs of your child and the circumstances of both parents far better than a judge would. You can customize your parenting plan to suit your child's unique interests.
  • Privacy - Most of what happens in open court becomes public record. The gathering and presentation of evidence regarding your parenting abilities, mental health, the stability of your household, and other factors can be extremely invasive. What happens in mediation is private.
  • Speed - Contesting a child custody case can take multiple months or even a year or more. Creating a parenting plan together can save a great deal of time and help you complete your case more quickly.
  • Accounting for other divorce issues - In a contested divorce, the court may move issue by issue. In mediation, you and your spouse can look at the big picture and resolve other issues, like who will keep the family home, while also discussing parenting time and other child-related concerns.

Contesting Parenting Time in Court

Contesting a child custody case can be deeply unpleasant, but it is sometimes necessary to protect your child if the other parent poses a risk of harm. It may also be necessary if the other parent will not agree to a reasonable arrangement.

A Guardian ad Litem or Child Representative may be assigned to your case. They will interview your child and both parents and conduct an investigation for the court to help the judge understand what your child's needs are and how each parent can meet those needs. This process can feel a bit invasive, and it may create some anxiety, but it is a normal part of a contested custody case.

Courts in Illinois will nearly always order some parenting time for each parent unless one parent poses a serious endangerment to the child. For example, if one parent has an active substance abuse issue, severe and unmanaged mental illness, or violence toward the other parent, supervised visitation may be ordered.

When making the final decisions about parenting time arrangements, the court will look at factors like the particular needs of each child, the relationship between each parent and the child, each parent's mental and physical health, and whether there is any history of child abuse or endangerment. The court will also allocate parental decision-making responsibilities and other parental responsibilities using similar factors.

Contact a Chicago, IL Parenting Time Lawyer

CG Law LLC is deeply dedicated to helping parents maximize the time they can spend with their children after divorce or separation. Our caring Hinsdale child custody attorneys will do all we can to protect the relationship you share with your child. Contact us at 312-884-9012 for a complimentary consultation.

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