Archive for the ‘Grandparents Rights’ Category

Visitation Rights as a Grandparent

January 30th, 2015 at 12:36 pm

grandparent visitation rights in Illinois, child custody attorney in ChicagoYour son or daughter has filed for divorce or completed the divorce process with their ex-spouse and custody of the children will be or has been determined. As the grandparent, you are left wondering about your visitation rights with your grandchildren. In Illinois, grandparents can petition for visitation rights under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act if the grandchild is at least one year old, under certain conditions.

Determining Your Rights

When a grandparent is unreasonably being denied visitation with their grandchild, a grandparent may petition for visitation rights if:

  • The child’s other parent is deceased or has been missing for at least 3 months; or
  • A parent is found to be incompetent by a court of law; or
  • A parent has been incarcerated during the 3 months preceding the filing.

In addition, grandparents can file a petition for visitation if the parents are divorced or there is a pending dissolution of marriage and at least one parent does not object to visitation. In the event that the child was born to unmarried parents and the parents are not living together, maternal grandparents may file for visitation.  Paternal grandparents, however, cannot file unless paternity has been established by a court.

All of these conditions may be irrelevant if the parent is giving up their parental rights to the child. If the grandchild is being adopted by someone else, it cuts off the grandparent’s visitation rights, unless the child is adopted by certain family members or a stepparent.

Best Interests of the Child

If one of the above conditions is met, the judge will then make a decision he or she feels is in the best interest of the child after taking into account multiple statutory considerations.   In making this decision, the court presumes that a parent’s decisions regarding visitation do not harm the well-being of the child; a grandparent requesting visitation has to prove the parent’s actions and decisions are harmful to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health.

If you are looking for representation to get visitation rights for yourself or limit visitation rights for another person, contact one of our five offices in Illinois. Our Chicago grandparents’ rights attorneys assist clients from our locations in downtown Chicago, Northbrook, Orland Park, Schaumburg, and Wheaton. Anderson & Associates, P.C., can discuss your concerns and help you understand your options.