Under Illinois law, when the parents of a child are no longer together, the court will issue an order that stipulates the allocation of parental responsibilities and what the parenting time schedule for the child will be. However, Illinois law also recognizes the importance of maintaining meaningful relationships between a child and non-parental figures who the child has a significant bond with. In these situations, that person can petition the court in order to seek visitation time with the child. The following are some of the relationships that may qualify.
Grandparents are one of the parties that have the right to petition the court in order to request visitation. The grandparent must be able to show the court that awarding visitation is in the child’s best interest. They must also be able to show one of the following conditions are met:
The child’s parent has been dead or missing for at least three months.
The child’s parents are separated, divorced, or involved in a legal case regarding custody.
The child was born out of wedlock and the parents do not live together.
Siblings or Step-Siblings
Adult siblings or step-siblings of the child may petition for visitation if they can show that visitation is in the child’s best interest and that the sibling relationship already existed prior to the filing of the petition.
Other Relatives or Significant Figures
Illinois law also permits non-parental relatives, such as aunts, uncles, or close family friends, to file a petition for visitation under certain circumstances. They must establish that visitation is in the child’s best interest and that the child and non-parental figure had a substantial and ongoing relationship or bond.
De Facto Custodians
In cases where a non-parent has served as a primary caregiver and has taken on the role of a parent for a significant period, they may be eligible to seek visitation as a de facto custodian. To establish de facto custodian status, the non-parent must demonstrate that they have provided the child with care, support, and protection and that they have formed a strong parent-like relationship with the child.
Contacting a DuPage County Family Lawyer for Legal Help
In every legal situation where child custody and/or visitation is an issue, the court will always make its decision based on what situation is in the child’s best interests, along with the child’s emotional and physical well-being, the nature of the relationship between the child and non-parent, the wishes of the child (if the child is old enough), and any potential disruption to the child’s routine.
If you are seeking visitation rights as a non-parent, make sure you have a skilled Lombard, IL family law attorney advocating for you in what is often a complex legal process. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a confidential consultation and find out what legal options you may have.