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If you are a divorced or separated parent in Illinois and your child spends the majority of his or her time with you, it is also likely that the child spends a fair amount of time with their other parent, too. This is because courts favor both parents being involved in their child’s life whenever possible. As such, even if your child is living with you, the other parent may have a court order that provides them with the right to overnight visits with the child.

For whatever reason, a situation may arise where you no longer believe that overnight visits are appropriate, or perhaps even safe, for your child. If this occurs, here’s a look into what you need to know about your right to suspend overnight visits:

You Should Always Defer to Your Child Custody Order

The first thing that’s important to know is that even if you don’t want your child spending the night at your former spouse’s home, you should always adhere to your court order; failing to do so can result in consequences. There are few exceptions to this – you may be able to keep your child home if you believe that sending them to your ex-spouse’s home would be dangerous for their physical, mental, or emotional health. However, having the court’s permission is always better.

Petition the Court with Motion to Suspend Visitation

Asking your former spouse to let you keep your child at home one time because they are extremely sick is one thing; wanting to keep your child from sleeping at your ex’s home indefinitely is another. If you no longer want your child’s other parent to have the right to overnight visitations, you will need to seek a modification of the current visitation order. In order to change an order regarding parental responsibilities in Illinois, including overnight visitations, you will have to prove to the court that a significant change in circumstances has occurred. If you and your former spouse are in agreement about the change, you will not have to prove this to the court.

Suspending Visitation Can Be Complicated

As stated above, the court favors situations in which children are able to spend time with both parents. As such, suspending the overnight visitation rights of the other parents can be very difficult to do. Not only will you need to prove that a change of circumstances has occurred that warrants a change in parental responsibilities, but also that continued overnight visits would breach the best interests of the child.

Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help

At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. our family law attorneys can help you to determine if it is appropriate to seek a suspension of overnights visits between your child and their other parent. To learn more about this process and how our legal team can aid you, please call us today and request a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Illinois and work in Naperville, Downers Grove, Lisle, Wheaton, Aurora, and Lombard.