How Can I Make Up Visitation Time if I’m Deployed for an Extended Period?

Illinois child custody law presumes that it is in a child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with both parents after a divorce or separation. As such, parents typically each get parenting time with their child in a parenting agreement. However, the situation can become more complicated when one parent is an active service member who is deployed to active duty. While some may believe that any visitation during deployment is forfeited, that may not be the case. At Gordon & Perlut, our Skokie child custody attorneys are here to help you navigate this complex issue. For more information, call or contact our office today to schedule a case consultation.

Establishing Virtual Visitation

One option for visitation during deployment is establishing virtual visitation. While not ideal, during deployment this may be the only option and helps the Court understand the efforts you are making to keep up regular communication with your child. This type of visitation can happen on the phone or through video conferencing, like Skype or Zoom. The parents establish a regular time when the deployed parent communicates with their child during their deployment. However, this option usually only works when the service member is deployed in a place where regular communication can occur, and these types of virtual visitation are possible for the service member and their child.

Substituting Visitation

Another option for making up visitation time during an extended deployment is to substitute the visitation time with a service member for another person. A service member can request that the child spend time with another person when they normally would have spent it with their military parent. Common examples include spending time with the servicemember’s new spouse, aunts, uncles, or grandparents on that side of the family. However, substituted visitation cannot be used to fulfill any rights already granted to grandparents for visitation time with their grandchild. Typically, a request must be made through the Illinois court for a visitation substitution, which a qualified attorney can assist with.

Scheduling Make-up Hours Before or After Deployment

The final option for making up visitation time for an extended deployment is to schedule make-up hours before or after the deployment. This option can either be arranged by agreement between the parents or through a request to the court, depending on the circumstances of your case. The existing parenting time arrangement can be altered so that the deployed service member spends more time with their child before they leave or after they return. If the service member is given furlough time to return home during their deployment, they may also make up some of the visitations during that time, as well. For more information about the various options available to military parents, talk to our office today.

Contact Our Chicago and Skokie Child Custody Lawyers

At Gordon & Perlut, our experienced and skilled Chicago and Skokie child custody lawyers are prepared to help ensure that you get the parenting time that you are entitled to, even if you are deployed. To learn more about the various options available to you in Illinois, call the office to speak with a Chicago child custody lawyer and schedule a free consultation of your case today.

You deserve to have time with your child, our legal team will help you make that happen.