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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Do I Have Visitation Rights to See My Grandchild?

Posted on in Child Custody

Lombard divorce lawyer for marital homesFor some families, the relationship and connection between family members means everything, especially the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. In some situations, the dynamics of a family can break down to the point where the child is no longer allowed to maintain that relationship with his or her grandparent. In Illinois, parents are considered to have inherent rights to spending time with their children. Grandparents are not awarded the same rights, though Illinois laws do give grandparents the ability to petition for visitation time in certain situations. 

Can I File a Petition for Visitation?

Illinois law presumes that parents will make decisions based on what is in their child’s best interests. If a parent is denying a grandparent visitation time, Illinois courts will assume that there is a reason for it. It is up to you, the grandparent, to prove that the denial is actually harming the child in some way. You may be able to obtain visitation rights if one of the following situations is true:

  • The child’s other parent is dead or has been missing for at least 90 days.

  • One of the child’s parents meets the legal definition of being “incompetent.”

  • One of the child’s parents has been incarcerated for at least 90 days immediately before the filing of the petition.

  • The child’s parents are divorced, and one parent does not object to the visitation.

  • The child’s parents were never married, they are not living together, and one of the parents is your child.

Factors Used in Determinations

Once you file your petition for visitation, the courts will examine your situation to determine whether or not your petition should be granted. Though the court will presume that the parent’s actions and decisions regarding your visitation time are not harmful to the child’s overall well-being, the judge will examine a variety of factors. These factors include:

  • The wishes of the child, within reason

  • The child’s mental and physical health

  • Your mental and physical health 

  • The length and quality of your prior relationship with your grandchild

  • Your reasons for filing the petition

  • The parent’s reasons for denying your visitation

  • How much visitation time you have requested and the impact it would have on the child’s normal activities

  • Any evidence you have that would prove that the lack of relationship between you and your grandchild is causing your grandchild mental, physical, or emotional harm

  • Whether visitation can be structured in a way to minimize the child’s exposure to conflict between you and the opposing parent

A DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Can Help

It can be devastating to any grandparent when they lose their relationship with their grandchild. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we believe that children have a right to a relationship with their beloved family members, even if these rights are not dictated by law. Our compassionate Elmhurst, IL family law attorneys will help you fight to be in your grandchild’s life. Call our office today at 630-852-9700 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources: 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

 

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