Archive for the ‘grandparents’ rights’ tag

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.

New Illinois Laws in 2015: Part 1

January 22nd, 2015 at 6:01 pm

new Illinois family law, Chicago family law attorneysThe New Year heralds more than fresh beginnings and ambitious resolutions. In many cases, January 1 also marks the statutory beginning for laws recently enacted by the Illinois General Assembly.  One example this year is an amendment to the Children and Family Services Act that allows state officials to place children who have been temporarily removed from their homes with “fictive kin”–an individual who is not related to a particular child by blood or marriage but who maintains a close personal relationship with that child or his family.

Illinois law authorizes the Department of Children and Family Services to temporarily remove abused or neglected children from their homes while DCFS officials investigate the situation. DCFS prefers to place these children with able and willing relatives, but when that is not possible, the department may opt to make placements with fictive kin rather than with complete strangers. The fictive kin must then apply for foster care licensure within six months of the placement.

Other family laws that took effect on January 1, 2015, include:

  • The Child Care Act, which regulates child care licensing requirements and licensing exemptions, was amended. Generally, if you provide care to more than three unrelated children (this includes your own children under the age of 12), state law requires you to obtain a child care license from DCFS. Recent amendments expanded the definition of “related” to include great-grandparents, step-grandparents and first cousins.
  • A second amendment to the Child Care Act, which requires DCFS to submit a comprehensive annual progress report to the General Assembly. The report must include such information as:
    • Details regarding how child day care licensing is funded (e.g., the names of revenue sources that support child day care licensing and how funds are appropriated);
    • Staffing qualifications for day care licensing representatives and supervisors;
    • Data history for day care licensing representative caseloads and staff levels; and
    • Efforts to coordinate professional development with the Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education.
  • Amendments to the Children and Family Services Act, which require DCFS to use its case tracking system to monitor families subject to safety plans. A safety plan is often implemented when DCFS officials are investigating reports of child abuse or neglect. If officials determine that a child needs to be removed from his home during the investigation–or that one of the parents needs to reside somewhere else–they might ask the family to agree to a safety plan outlining temporary placement arrangements. If the parents do not agree then DCFS can take protective custody of the child for 48 hours.

If you have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under the Children and Family Services Act or the Child Care Act, contact one of our experienced Chicago family law attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. today. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., we have decades of experience helping clients from our five regional offices in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, Orland Park, and downtown Chicago. Call 312-345-9999 to schedule a free consultation today.

Read Part 2: New Illinois Laws in 2015

Grandparents’ Rights In Divorce?

July 5th, 2013 at 9:16 am

Grandparents take great pride in their grandchildren. Many hours and dollars are spent on doting and loving this next generation. They are also crucial and influential people in their grandchildren’s lives. So, when a divorce occurs between the parents, grandparents just want the best for their grandchildren and to continue their relationship with them. However, divorces can be ugly and can make grandparents feel left out – so what rights do grandparents actually have?


In Illinois, grandparents can seek custody of their grandchildren in certain situations.  Normally, when a court has to make a custody decision, the judge must decide what is in the best interest of the child.  However, when grandparents are seeking custody, they must first establish that they have  standing under Illinois law.  This means they have to initially prove certain facts about their relationship with the grandchild to show that they have the right to petition the court for custody of that grandchild.  Illinois case law interpreting what a grandparent needs to show to establish standing is complex and continually evolving, so it’s important for a grandparent considering custody litigation to consult with an attorney that concentrates in the area of grandparent rights.
Grandparents also have rights to visitation with their grandchildren in certain circumstances.  In all such cases, however, the court must find that the parent is unreasonably denying visitation to the grandparent.  What constitutes unreasonable denial of visitation? This is a difficult question that the judge must ultimately decide based upon the facts of the case.  Every case is unique in this regard.  For grandparents who are considering filing a petition for visitation with their grandchildren, it is important that they have the input of an experienced attorney in Chicago who has successfully handled grandparent visitation cases, so that they can understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case.


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