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From "Visitation" to "Parenting Time"

 Posted on April 25, 2024 in Batavia criminal defense lawyer

IL family lawyerThe change in terminology from “visitation” to “parenting time” might seem unimportant. Both terms refer to the amount of time a parent has to spend with his or her children. However, there is an important distinction. The word “visitation” implies that a parent is simply a visitor in his or her child’s life instead of a full co-parent. A father or mother does not go from being a parent to being a guest in his or her child’s life because the parent got divorced or broke up with the other parent. Even in cases where a child spends the majority of his or her time with one parent and only sees the other during breaks from school or on weekends, the child still has two parents. A Kane County, IL child custody lawyer can work to ensure that you enjoy the best possible relationship with your child after your divorce or break-up.

When is the Term “Visitation” Still Used? 

You might hear the word “visitation” used casually when people are talking about child custody, especially when one parent spends much less time with the child than the other parent does. The only time the term “visitation” is still used as a legal term is in the context of grandparents’ rights or sibling visitation issues.

Parenting Time and Fathers as Co-Parents 

In the past, it was nearly always mothers who had “custody” and fathers who had “visitation.” The most common arrangement among divorced or unmarried parents used to be that the children lived with the mother and saw their father only on weekends or perhaps during the holidays and over summer vacation. The problem was that children and parents alike would sometimes come to view the father as more of a visitor whose role was to do fun things with the children, while the mother held most of the responsibility for overseeing the children’s education and providing discipline.

The change in terminology from “visitation” to “parenting time” coincided with a change in how child custody cases were often resolved. 50/50 arrangements are now much more common, and fathers are more likely to share all parenting duties evenly with the mother.

The time children spend with their fathers is likely to mirror the time children spend with their mothers in terms of what activities are done. Instead of spending every other weekend taking the children on fun outings, fathers often spend every other week taking their children to school and making sure their homework is done.

Contact a Batavia, IL Parenting Time Lawyer 

[[title]] is dedicated to helping parents maintain strong parent-child bonds with their children after divorce. Experienced Kane County, IL child custody attorney Van A. Larson has 39 years of litigation and trial experience. Contact us at 630-879-9090 for a complimentary consultation.

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