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Do Grandparents Have Rights to Visitation with Their Grandchildren in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Do Grandparents Have Rights to Visitation with Their Grandchildren in Illinois?For some families, the relationship and connection between family members means everything, especially the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. In some situations, the dynamics of a family can deteriorate to the point where the child is no longer allowed to maintain that relationship with his or her grandparent. In Illinois, parents are considered to have inherent rights to spending time with their children. Grandparents are not afforded the same rights, but Illinois laws do give grandparents the ability to ask the court for visitation time in certain situations. 

Can I Ask for Visitation with My Grandchild?

Illinois law presumes that parents will make decisions based on what is in their child’s best interests. If a parent is denying a grandparent visitation time, Illinois courts will assume that there is a reason for it. It is up to you as the grandparent to prove that the denial is actually harming the child in some way. You may be able to obtain visitation rights if one of these criteria apply:

  • The child’s other parent is dead or has been missing for 90 days or more.
  • One parent has been deemed incompetent or unfit.
  • One parent has been in jail or prison for 90 days or more.
  • The child’s parents are divorced, and one parent has no objections to your visitation.
  • The child’s parents were never married, they are not living together, and one of the parents is your child.

Factors Used in Making Determinations

Once you file your petition for visitation, the courts will examine your situation to determine whether your petition should be granted. Though the court will start with the presumption that the parent’s actions and decisions regarding your visitation time are not harmful to the child’s overall well-being, the judge must examine a variety of factors. These factors include:

  • The wishes of the child, within reason
  • The child’s physical and mental health
  • Your physical and mental health
  • The length and quality of your prior relationship with your grandchild
  • Your reasons for filing the petition
  • The parent’s reasons for denying your visitation
  • How much visitation time you have requested and the impact it would have on the child’s normal activities
  • Any evidence you have that would prove that the denying of the relationship between you and your grandchild is causing your grandchild mental, physical, or emotional harm
  • Whether visitation can be set up in such a way as to minimize the child’s exposure to conflict between you and the objecting parent

A Kane County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Can Help

It can be devastating to any grandparent when they lose their relationship with their grandchild. At Goostree Law Group, we believe that children have a right to a relationship with their beloved family members, even if these rights are not dictated by law. Our compassionate St. Charles, IL, family law attorneys will help you fight to be in your grandchild’s life. Call us today at 630-584-4800 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

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