Visitation Rights for Fathers in Illinois

By Mike Broemmel
Father, child spending, time

father with child. autumn image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com

Visitation rights accrue to a father who does not have primary custody of a minor child, according to Illinois laws. Statutes in Illinois establish everything from how a visitation schedule is developed to the types of visitation available to a father to how a father goes about seeking judicial enforcement of his rights to visitation. Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 40, delineate the statutory provisions establishing visitation rights in the state.

Reasonable and Regular

Illinois law establishes a father's rights to reasonable and regular visitation with his child. There is not a hard and fast schedule used by courts in all visitation cases. Rather, courts consider what constitutes reasonable and regular visitation on a case-by-case basis. Factors that come into play in advancing the father's rights to reasonable and regular visitation include the age of the child, the proximity of the father's residence to the child and the time of year (a father having greater access to the child when school is not in session, for example).

Electronic Communication

Illinois law includes provisions pertaining to electronic communication or virtual visitation. The law extends to a father the right to electronic communication or virtual visitation as a means of maintaining contact with a child between physical visitation sessions. Historically, telephone calls were the primary means of filling the gaps between physical visitations. Visitation orders often include a specific schedule for phone calls to ensure the child is available.

With technological advancements, fathers possess the right to virtual visitation in some cases. Relying on the Internet, visitation schedules include precise times at which the father and child link up through Internet resources.

Judicial Enforcement

Pursuant to the provisions of Illinois law, a father possesses the right to obtain judicial enforcement of his rights to visitation. Courts expedite hearings on a charge that a father's visitation rights were violated by the mother. The public policy behind Illinois law regarding enforcement of visitation rights is that interference with a father's rights to meaningful contact with his child must be rectified without any undue delay.

Legal Representation

Illinois law affirms the rights of a father to legal representation in establishing and enforcing visitation rights. The Illinois State Bar Association maintains a directory of attorneys in different practice areas, including family law:

Illinois State Bar Association Illinois Bar Center 424 S. Second St. Springfield, IL 62701-1779 217-525-1760 800-252-8908 isba.org

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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