Visitation and Parenting Time for Parents in Chicago


Visitation allows parents who do not receive partial or full custody to enjoy an ongoing relationship with their children. Some custodial parents, however, may have legitimate concerns about how continued contact with the other parent might affect the child. In other cases, parents in Chicago need to fight for visitation and parenting time after the other parent unreasonably cuts off access. At Downs Law Offices, our attorneys appreciate how emotionally difficult visitation battles can be. We listen closely to your concerns and use our more than 50 years of combined experience to help you protect your children and your relationship with them.


Visitation is the right to have periodic contact with a child. Visitation can be negotiated as part of a divorce or child custody settlement or it can be set by the court based on evidence submitted by the parents. As in most matters involving children, the court tries to set a visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child. If possible, however, the parents and their visitation lawyers should collaborate in forming a parenting time schedule that works for both and is also beneficial to the child rather than leaving it up to the court.


As a general rule, a noncustodial parent is entitled to visitation in nearly every case, although visitation may be supervised if there are concerns about abusive conduct or parental fitness. A court may only deny visitation to a parent if it finds that it would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health, for example if:

  • The parent suffers from serious mental illness.
  • The child has witnessed the parent abusing a parent or sibling.
  • The parent is engaged in serious and ongoing substance abuse.
  • The parent has committed serious acts of violence or abuse against the child.

In addition, grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings may also ask the court to order visitation rights. Unlike parental visitation rights, however, sibling and grandparent visitation rights are only available if the child is at least one year old, the parent or parents have unreasonably denied access and other statutory conditions exist.

Advocating for your parental rights

Caring for a child after divorce or separation is always a challenge. Our attorneys at Downs Law Offices have helped both custodial and noncustodial parents in Chicago negotiate workable and beneficial parenting time agreements and, if necessary, make their cases in court.

Call our office today at 312-781-1963 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We are centrally located in Chicago's Loop, easily accessible by public transportation.