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Do I Have a Legal Right to Visit My Grandchild in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerThe relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is very special. Unfortunately, divorce, family arguments, and other circumstances can sometimes get in the way of this relationship. If you have grandchildren, you may be curious about your legal right to see them. You may ask, “Can my child prevent me from seeing my grandchildren?” or “Can I get visitation rights?” In Illinois, grandparents may petition the court for court-ordered visitation in some circumstances.

When Are Grandparents Awarded Visitation?

The law presumes that it is in a child’s best interests to have each of his parents involved in his life. Consequently, parents have a right to visitation, technically called “parenting time,” unless there is a good reason to restrict a parent’s parenting time. The same presumption does not exist for grandparents. However, grandparents can petition the court for visitation under certain circumstances. Illinois courts only grant grandparent visitation if at least one of the following is true:

  • The parents are divorced, and at least one parent agrees to grandparent visitation
  • The parents are unmarried and do not live together
  • At least of the parents is deemed “unfit” due to neglect, abuse, addiction, or other concerns
  • At least one of the parents has been absent from the child’s life or in jail for three or more months

Illinois courts always make decisions about child custody or visitation based on what is in the child’s best interests.

Factors the Court Will Consider When Making a Decision About Grandparent Visitation

Suppose a grandparent wishes to obtain court-ordered visitation but the child’s parent or parents do not want the grandparent to have visitation. In that case, the burden of proof is on the grandparent to prove why he or she should be granted visitation rights. The grandparent must demonstrate that spending time with the child is essential to the child’s wellbeing.

When determining whether or not grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests, Illinois courts consider factors such as:

  • Why the parents do not agree to grandparent visitation
  • The child’s preference
  • The health of the grandparent
  • The relationship between the grandchild and the grandparent
  • Why the grandparent is petitioning the court for visitation
  • Whether the child has previously lived with or had regular visitation with the grandparent

Contact an Arlington Heights Grandparents Rights Lawyer

If you are a grandparent who has been denied access to your grandchild, you may be able to petition the court for grandparent visitation. An Illinois family law attorney from A. Traub & Associates can help. Call us today at 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation to learn more.



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