Can Grandparents Get Visitation Rights in Illinois?
Parents are the most important people in a young child’s life, but they are often supported by others who also care deeply about a child. Uncles, aunts, stepparents, and grandparents are all important family members who can develop strong bonds with a child and support him or her throughout their development.
Unfortunately, divorce often has an isolating impact between children and extended family members. This is especially true when one parent is only given partial or limited parenting time, and the parent with parental responsibilities and majority parenting time seeks to restrict the other parent’s access to the child. The limited parenting time can result in little or no contact between the child and extended family members.
In situations like this, grandparents and other relatives may wonder if they can take legal action to ensure they can stay involved in the child’s life. If you have been unable to visit your grandchild and wonder if you have grandparents’ rights, a qualified family law attorney may be able to help you.
Will an Illinois Court Hear Visitation Claims from Grandparents?
Generally, yes. Grandparents and other non-parents can file a visitation petition with the local court when there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation by one or both parents. When deciding whether to grant a grandparent visitation rights, the court can consider the following:
- The nature of the relationship between the child and the grandparent
- How much visitation time the grandparent is requesting
- Whether the child wants to visit with the grandparent
- Whether the lack of visitation has harmed the child
- Whether the requested visitation would negatively impact the child’s normal activities
- Whether visitation could be done in a way that would limit the child’s exposure to conflict between the grandparent and other family members
What Happens if a Grandparent Is Granted Visitation Rights?
If a court decides visitation with a grandparent would be in the child’s best interests, it could grant different visitation options depending on the circumstances. Grandparents can be granted extended visitation, such as during summer months when school is not in session, weekend visits, visits during the day without overnight privileges, or just electronic communication. The child’s age, location, and any difficulty in transporting the child can affect the type of visitation a grandparent is granted.
Work with a DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Attorney
At Cores Family Law Group, we understand that the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild can be one of the most cherished and loving relationships in both parties’ lives. If you believe you have been unfairly denied visitation to your grandchild, seek help from a Wheaton grandparents’ rights attorney. We can help you understand your options and petition for visitation rights with your grandchild. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation at 630-871-1002.