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What are Grandparent Rights in Illinois?

Posted on in Visitation
Grandparents are integral parts of any family. They offer advice and insight to parents who are raising their own children.  grandparent rights IMAGEThey also can overly spoil their grandchildren with affection, attention and love.  And in some cases, the grandparents have a limited legal right to visitation of their grandchildren in Illinois, especially when the parents divorce. There are certain requirements that must be met for an Illinois court will grant visitation to grandparents.  The first is that the children must be at least one year old.  The other requirement is that one of the following circumstances must exist:
  • One of the parents of the child has been confirmed to be unfit or incompetent
  • One of the parents has been incarcerated in jail or prison for at least three months
  • One of the parents is either dead or has been absent for the preceeding three months
  • The parents are divorced and one does not disagree to the visitation by the grandparents
  • The parents are not married and do not live together
Just as in custody and visitation agreements during divorce, the major deciding factor is what is in the best interest of the grandchildren. A child’s best interest can be based on their preference, the health of the child and grandparents, and whether there is any adverse effect of the visitation.  The reliability and trustworthiness of the grandparents can be seen as a major benefit for children who are missing a parent. These same rights are available to siblings of the children in question, as well as the great-grandparents. But these rights can be terminated in some cases even if a visitation schedule has been established by a court of law. For example, if the parents have given up custody to a separate party other than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a foster care provider, grandparent rights may not apply. In other words, if a different family adopts the child, then the maternal or paternal grandparents will not have their right to visitation. If you are interested in petitioning for visitation with your grandchildren, then take the first step today.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in Warrenville who can be your advocate.
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