Share Your Experience

five star review
Lombard Office
Text Us Now

Am I Entitled to Visitation as a Grandparent?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Family Law

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.

Who May Petition for Visitation?

While fiercely protecting the rights of parents, the law in Illinois is very specific about which other relatives have standing to file for visitation. When necessary, a petition for visitation for visitation privileges may be filed only by grandparents, great-grandparents, and siblings, including stepsiblings, of a minor child one year old or older.

Grounds for the Petition

When seeking visitation privileges, the petitioner must show that there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation by a parent, and one of the following is true:

  • The other parent is deceased, missing, or incarcerated;
  • The other parent has been found unfit;
  • The parents are divorced or divorce is pending, and at least one parent does not object to the petitioner’s visitation; and
  • The parents were never married and the petitioner is appropriately related through the mother or legally-established father.

In many situations, the establishment of the second criteria is often easier that proving unreasonable denial of visitation. Courts typically begin with the assumption that the parent has valid reason to deny visitation, requiring the petitioner to prove otherwise. By doing so, the court looks to uphold the rights of parents to make reasonable decisions regarding their children.

If you are a grandparent or another family member with standing to petition for visitation privileges, the team at A. Traub & Associates can help you through the process. Contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney today. We will review your situation and provide the legal representation you deserve.

Share this post:
Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Back to Top