Siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, and stepparents can play a critical role in a child's development. Bonds formed between a child and his or her family members can produce memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. Sadly, in cases of divorce, or when other conflicts or disagreements arise between extended family members, one or both parents may decide to end a relationship between a child and his or her relatives. While divorce may bring out the worst in people, it is important to remember that a child's best interests should be protected throughout the process. If a parent’s actions have had a negative impact on the relationship between the child and other family members, grandparents or other relatives may wish to take legal action to ensure they can remain in a child’s life. In these cases, an attorney can help family members determine their options for pursuing visitation rights.
How Does a Court Handle Visitation Claims?
For a visitation petition to be filed by a non-parent in the state of Illinois, there must be an unreasonable denial of visitation by the parent or parents. Furthermore, before visitation rights will be granted, it must be proven that the denial of visitation has caused mental, physical, or emotional harm to the child. In determining whether or not to grant visitation, the court may consider the following:
The child's wishes...