Visitation time was the term used prior to the changes which were made in 2016. It was commonly used to refer to the schedule which arranged when each parent would have the child with them. The typical arrangement was that one parent was granted residential custody or primary physical possession of the child. That parent will have the child or children with them most of the time and the other parent would then be the noncustodial parent. And they would be granted what’s called a visitation schedule.
The court would determine which parent would have residential custody based on also the best interests of the children. That reasonable visitation schedule was established. It was commonly thought that the appropriate visitation schedule would be alternating weekends and perhaps some time on one day during the week.
But under the new law, the term “visitation time” was replaced with parenting time. Since there’s not really any longer residential custody, the way that the parenting time schedules will be determined is really different than in the past. Similar to the subject of parental responsibilities, the court looks toward certain best interests of the children, different factors in reaching a decision on what the appropriate parenting schedule should look like.
Arin Fife is a family lawyer at Boyle Feinberg Sharma in Illinois.