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grandparent, rights, visitation, Lombard family lawyerIf you are like most grandparents, spending time with your grandchildren is among the greatest joys in life. You, no doubt, look forward to having them come over or interacting with them at family gatherings, just as they eagerly anticipate getting to see you. In some family situations, however, things are often much more difficult, as a failing relationship between the parents may create challenges for fostering such a special bond. Grandparents in cases such as these may have no other option than to petition the court for visitation privileges.

Rights vs. Privileges

Under Illinois law, a parent who is not granted custody of his or her child maintains the right to reasonable visitation. These rights can only be restricted by an action of the court, and may only be done for cause. Visitation for all other family members is considered a privilege, and is not assumed by law in any way.

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Posted on in Divorce

sibling visitation rights, grandparents rights, lawyer, attorney, family law, divorceExperiencing a divorce can be difficult for all family members, but particularly children. In Illinois, the state gives the same visitation rights to siblings as is usually granted to grandparents in the event of a divorce. This is particularly helpful in cases where parents split custody of multiple children, or in cases where a second marriage with stepchildren is ending.

 According to Illinois state law, siblings of a minor child at least a year old may petition the court for visitation in cases where there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation. The state considers a sibling to be a brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister. These petitions may be filed both during and after the divorce proceedings, and can request both visitation and reasonable electronic communication rights. As with grandparent visitation, one of the following conditions must be met in addition to the sibling being denied visitation by a parent:
  • The child’s other parent must have been deceased or missing for at least three months;
  • A parent of the child must have been ruled incompetent as a matter of law;
  • A parent has been incarcerated for at least three months prior to the filing of the petition;
  • The children’s parents have been divorced or legally separated from each other, or have a pending dissolution proceeding involving custody or visitation, and at least one of the parents doesn’t object to the sibling having visitation. The visitation cannot diminish visitation with the parent;
  • The child is born out of wedlock, the parents are not living together, and the petitioner is a sibling. If a paternal sibling, the parent’s paternity must have been established by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Allowing siblings and step siblings to remain in contact with each other following a divorce is beneficial to the emotional health of both children. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, having a qualified attorney at your side can help ensure that your children are allowed to stay in contact with their siblings and step siblings. Contact the experienced divorce attorneys at A. Traub & Associates about your case today.
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