Tag Archives: visitation

What if a Parent Blocks a Grandparent’s Visitation With Grandchildren?

Wheaton grandparents' rights attorneyGrandparents provide a wealth of loving care and family traditions to the younger generation, and most grandchildren will remember the time with their grandfathers and grandmothers well into their own adulthood. Grandparents add value to the lives of young children in immeasurable ways. Unfortunately, old feuds can get in the way of grandparents’ visitation rights, especially when the parents of the children separate or get divorced. In many cases, a child’s parent may disallow visitation with their ex-spouse’s parents, though it is sometimes a grandparent’s own children that disallow them from seeing their young loved ones.

What Steps Can I Take as Grandparent?

In Illinois, grandparents can petition the court to secure visitation rights with grandchildren. However, a grandparent must show that by not seeing their grandparents, the child is being harmed. As such, “the burden is on the party filing a petition” to prove that the parent’s decision about visitation will “cause undue harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health,” according to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/602.9. A grandmother or grandfather must show that the time spent with them has a positive impact on their grandchild’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Having a close relationship with a grandparent benefits children’s well-being; previous research has shown that these types of relationships can reduce depressive symptoms in both the grandparents and the grandchild. If this is so widely known, and many studies have come to the same conclusion, does that mean that a court will simply accept a grandparent’s and child’s mutual wishes to continue spending time with one another? Sadly, the situation is more complex than this.

The Court’s Considerations

When making decisions about whether grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interests, the court will use the following factors to make a decision about grandparent visitation:

  • The wishes of the child.
  • The length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.
  • The good faith of the grandparent and the good faith of the parent denying visitation access.
  • The quantity of visitation time requested.
  • Any potential adverse effects that visitation could have.
  • Factors that reveal the effects the loss of the grandparent/grandchild relationship would have on the child.
  • Whether or not the visitation can be structured in a manner to avoid conflict between the adult parties.

Call an Experienced DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Today

The emotional bond between a grandparent and a grandchild should never be broken because of a parent’s vengeful mindset. Our dedicated Wheaton family law attorneys can help reunite grandparents with their grandchildren by petitioning for visitation rights. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation today.




Restricting Parenting Time After Divorce in Illinois

child-visitation-modificationThere are a multitude of reasons a parent may wish to restrict visitation between a child and their other biological parent. Sometimes there is evidence of neglect or abuse, and in other cases, the child does not want to go for their own reasons. No matter the situation, a parent’s natural instincts kick in to protect their child and do what is best for them. Yet you must balance that with what is also legally appropriate.

When it comes to parenting time in Illinois, is it ever permissible to restrict visitation?

Obstructing Court Order

Typically, only under the direst of circumstances will a judge restrict visitation to a biological parent. However, a clause exists protecting children from potential danger. After any court order is given, such as a parenting time agreement, only a judge can legally approve modifications. Non-compliance with a standing court order is illegal and can result in harsh penalties, but a judge can authorize modifications if evidence exists that visitation would endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health in a serious manner.

Child Visitation Modification

Although courts in Illinois prefer to allow both parents to share parenting time responsibilities, if doing so places the child in immediate danger, the court can make any modifications they deem appropriate, including, but not limited to:

  • Reducing or eliminating parenting time;
  • Ordering supervision with parenting time or temporary visits;
  • Requiring child exchange through a third-party;
  • Restricting proximity or communication;
  • Mandating a location for visitation;
  • Restricting certain third-parties from vicinity during parenting time;
  • Denying visits if the parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Requiring one parent to post bond before parenting time;
  • Prohibiting overnight stays;
  • Requiring the completion of a treatment program; or
  • Any other restriction the court approves.

Ask a Wheaton, IL Family Attorney

No matter how you feel about your ex, only the court may reduce or restrict parenting time arrangements. Acting without the appropriate legal measures in place may result in contempt charges, followed by hefty fines and jail time, neither of which helps protect your children. If you would like to modify an existing parenting plan, a proven DuPage County parenting time attorney can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand the need to protect your children and we will do everything in our power to ensure their safety as quickly as possible. Call us today to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation at 630-871-1002.



What to Include in Your Parenting Agreement

parenting agreement, Wheaton divorce attorneysIf you are a parent who is planning to divorce your spouse, it is likely that one of your biggest concerns is how the divorce will affect your children. The transition from nuclear family to sharing children between two homes can be challenging and no two co-parenting arrangements are the same. Parents who plan to share custody of their children after a divorce will be expected to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement and submit it to the court. A parenting plan is not only required for divorce involving children in Illinois, but is also a great way to make sure parents are on the same page regarding how they will raise children after the divorce is finalized.

Things to Consider When Making a Parenting Plan

Because every family is different, every parenting plan is different. Some divorcing couples feel that they can roughly outline a custody and visitation schedule and plan little else while others go into much more detail about how their children should be raised. If you worry that you and your spouse will have trouble agreeing to parenting decisions in the future, it is best to be very specific in your parenting agreement. Take the time to prevent problems before they arise by making sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are in agreement about parenting responsibilities.

Decisions Parents Must Make

Experts suggest parents include decisions about the following in their parenting plan:

  • Allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time (also called custody and visitation);
  • Who will have the children during holidays, birthdays, or other special events;
  • Transportation plans including how the children will be transferred between the two homes;
  • The children’s involvement in after school sports or other extracurricular activities;
  • When grandparents or other family members will see the children;
  • Child care or babysitting plans for when both parents are unavailable;
  • When parents may introduce children to a new romantic partner;
  • House rules and discipline;
  • Healthcare; and
  • Religious or cultural expectations.

Of course, many parenting plans do not include all of these considerations and others include many more than are listed here. The most important things you are required by Illinois courts to include in your plan are the custody and visitation schedules. Ultimately, your parenting plan should reflect you and your family’s needs.

A Divorce and Family Law Firm You Can Trust

If you need further assistance creating a parenting plan or have other family law concerns, contact the experienced DuPage County divorce and family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free initial consultation today.