Grandparents can be some of the most important figures in a child’s life. If a child’s parents get divorced, grandparents may worry whether they will get to see their grandchildren as often. Divorcing parents have the right to reasonable amounts of parenting time, sometimes referred to as visitation, with their child. However, parents can lose this right if they are not fit to care for their child properly. In Illinois, grandparents will not always have the right to visitation with their grandchildren, although they may be able to petition for visitation if there are special circumstances.

When Can Grandparents Be Granted Visitation?

If you are a grandparent, and you want to ensure that you will be allowed to spend time with your grandchild, you may wonder if the court can require a parent to allow their child to spend time with you. Illinois courts may grant visitation to grandparents if one or more of the following circumstances are present:

  • The parents are divorced, and at least one parent agrees to grandparent visitation

  • The parents are not married and do not reside together

  • A parent is proven to be an unfit or incompetent parent

  • One of the parents has been absent from the child’s life for three months or longer

  • One of the parents has been detained in a correctional institution for three or more months

  • One of the parents is deceased

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts

If you are a grandparent who has been denied time with your grandchild by the child’s parent, you may wonder about your legal options for petitioning for visitation rights. Illinois courts make all decisions regarding grandparent visitation with the child’s best interests in mind. In order to be granted visitation, grandparents will need to prove to the court that the parents’ decision to restrict visitation with them is causing undue harm to the child’s well-being. The court will consider a wide variety of factors when deciding whether or not to grant visitation, including but not limited to:

  • The reason the parent has not allowed the child to spend time with grandparents

  • The grandparents’ health

  • The preferences of the child

  • The prior relationship between the child and grandparents

  • Whether the child previously lived with the grandparent for six months or more

  • Whether the grandparent was a major caretaker of the child

  • Whether the grandparent had regular visitation with the child before the parents’ divorce or separation

Contact a DuPage County Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

The Wheaton family law attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. know how important a grandparent can be in the life of a child. Call our office at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options for pursuing court-ordered grandparent visitation.

Sources:

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

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