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Grandparents and Visitation in Illinois

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Visitation

grandparents, visitation, Lombard family law attorneysAs you raised your own children, you probably looked forward to someday becoming a grandparent. Children often treasure the relationships with their grandparents—as you most likely remember from your childhood—and there is nothing quite like time with a grandchild to brighten a grandparent’s day. Unfortunately, many family situations deteriorate so badly that grandparents are unable to continue the relationships with their grandchildren that they so greatly value. The law in Illinois, however, does provide grandparents in certain situations with at least a glimmer of hope.

Presumed Best Interest of the Child

If you, as a grandparent, are being denied access to your grandchild by your child or the other parent, the law begins with the presumption that the child’s parents have made such a decision in the child’s best interests. A parent has the right to choose who should and should not be in regular contact with his or her child, as long as such decisions are reasonable and are not causing harm to the child. If the child is being negatively affected by the lack of a relationship with you, you may be able to convince a court to grant you visitation privileges.

Other Considerations

In addition to proving your assertion that you are being unreasonably kept from your grandchildren by a parent and that the child is suffering mental, physical or emotional harm as a result, one of the following conditions must also exist:

  • The other parent is deceased;
  • The other parent has been in prison or missing for three months or more;
  • A parent has been found unfit or incompetent;
  • The parents are divorced and at least one parent consents to your visitation; or
  • The parents were never married, and you are legally the child’s grandparent.

When considering your petition for visitation, the court will take into account your relationship with the child before your access was denied. Factors such as previous living arrangements, regular contact and visits, and whether you were the child’s primary caretaker for six months or more in the last two years will all affect the court’s decision. If your relationship with your grandchild was particularly strong and mutually beneficial, the court is more likely to rule in your favor. If you have always kept a certain distance and maintained minimal contact with your grandchild, the court is much less likely to grant your petition.

Protecting Your Rights

If you would like to learn more about the possibility of petitioning the court for visitation privileges with your grandchild, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, we know the value of family relationships, and we will work hard to help you obtain the rights you deserve. Call 630-426-0126 today and put our knowledgeable team on your side.


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