What Rights Do Illinois Grandparents Have?
Like many other states, Illinois recognizes that grandparents have the right to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren in certain situations. However, this does not mean that you can force your child to give you a certain amount of visitation, or any visitation at all if they have decided that having a relationship with you would not be in their child’s interest. In most cases, parental rights overwhelm grandparents’ rights. Grandparents’ rights generally only come into play in cases where your child is not involved in your grandchild’s life, whether by choice, by court order, or because they have passed away. The purpose of grandparents' rights is to facilitate a relationship between a child and a side of the family they may not otherwise have a relationship with due to the absence of one parent. If you are seeking to assert your rights as a grandparent, it is very important to be represented by an experienced DuPage County, IL, grandparents’ rights lawyer.
Situations Where Grandparents’ Rights May be Asserted
Grandparents most commonly go to court to pursue the right to see their grandchildren in cases where their child, the grandchild’s parent, is not involved in the child’s life. Grandparents also often seek guardianship or custody of their grandchildren when the grandchild does not have a suitable parent and is in danger of being placed in foster care if another relative does not take the child in. These situations include:
- Deceased child - If your child has passed away, you may be able to pursue visitation with your grandchild in your child’s stead.
- Lost parental rights - If your child has lost their parental rights, you may be able to ask the court to help you maintain a relationship with your grandchild. It is often in the best interest of a child to have a stable relationship with their grandparents when one parent is unable or unwilling to maintain one.
- No parental involvement - If neither of your grandchild’s parents is involved in your grandchild’s life, you may be able to obtain guardianship or custody of your grandchildren. When a parent is not available, courts often heavily favor interested grandparents when deciding who the child should be placed with. This situation is common when both parents struggle with substance abuse and cannot appropriately care for their child. There are some exceptions, however, such as when a newborn has been relinquished or the child has an adoption pending.
If you are seeking to assert your rights as a grandparent, you are likely facing a difficult family situation. Grandparents’ rights exist because courts recognize the importance of stable family bonds in a child’s life.
Contact a Wheaton, IL, Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
Andrew Cores Family Law Group is committed to protecting the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. Our caring DuPage County, IL, grandparents’ rights attorneys will do all we can to help you maintain a close relationship with your grandchildren. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.