You should not worry so much about who bears the burden of proof and instead focus your energies on working with your attorney to make sure he or she has the evidence, witnesses, and testimony necessary to meet your burden.
The parent who filed the motion proceeds first but both parties should be represented by counsel. It is in everyone's best interests to keep the lines of communication open and to reach a compromise.
Yes that is correct and not always easy to actually prove. Compromise is always better. One evening per week and every other weeked is standard. Why go to hearing when that is most likely what the judge will order? The midweek is not overnight.
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Both parents will have to present evidence as to why there respective proposals for custody/visitation are best for the child. Judges assigned to cases in your county will want to hear concrete evidence why father's proposal is in the best interest of the child because what he is asking for is a bit out of the norm than what is usually awarded. Judge Tucker and Judge Butler have fairly conservative views regarding traditional roles. Dad will want to stress that his proposed schedule will not be a detriment to the child because of his proximity to school, schedule, availabilty.
Good luck to you!
This response is being provided for information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Furthermore, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. While there are oftentimes similarities between States' laws, there can also be large differences. You should not rely on this response as legal advice and are highly encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in your State for an accurate legal answer.
The party opposing the visitation petition will have the burden of showing [by a preponderance of the evidence] that father's visitation motion seeks relief that is NOT in the best in the interest of the child. The burden has been described as deliberately "stringent" and "onerous."
The "presumption" is that Father is "entitled" to "reasonable visitation rights."
The decision wil depend on facts not specified by you. For example, the age of the child matters. The custodial preferences of the child matter, as they grow older and are capable of making mature decisions.
Chances are Father will prevail unless the child is very young or Father has a time-intensive job, for example.
If the child is about 12, for example, Courts tend to grant one weekday overnight and one evening for 3 hours or so [to eat dinner, etc.]
In the end, however, the person likely to prevail is the parent with a superior counsel--one who is exceptionally knowledgeable in the law and has accumulated excellent evidence in support of his client's position.
The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.
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