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Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041


Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

Posted on in Child Custody

IL divorce attorneyGetting a divorce has many ramifications, especially when it comes to familial relationships. Not only are you splitting up with your spouse, but you are also splitting up your family unit, which in many cases includes extended family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In many families, grandparents have a close relationship with their grandchildren, especially if they helped care for them. Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst in people and a parent can interfere with the relationship between the child and a grandparent for whatever reason. Illinois laws address this issue in the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Visitation Rights of Certain Non-Parents

The state of Illinois has recognized that extended family members often play a large role in a child’s life. In some families, grandparents take care of the children while the parents are at work. In other families, the child spends a significant amount of time with his or her step-parent. The law allows certain family members to petition for visitation or electronic communication when a parent “unreasonably” denies visitation or communication and the denial has caused undue mental, physical or emotional harm. These family members include:

  • Grandparents
  • Great-grandparents
  • Step-parents
  • Siblings
  • Step-siblings

Granting Visitation

If visitation for the child is contested, the court’s presumption is that the parent denying the visitation is acting in the child’s best interests. This means the burden to prove otherwise lies with the person who is petitioning for visitation. Typically, a judge will not grant visitation to a non-parent unless that person can demonstrate that the denial of visitation would cause harm to the child’s emotional, physical, or mental wellbeing.

In making the decision, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child
  • The mental and physical health of both the child and the person requesting visitation
  • The length and quality of the relationship between the child and the petitioner
  • Whether or not both the parent and the petitioner are acting in good faith
  • The nature of the visitation requested and whether or not that visitation would interfere with the child’s daily life
  • Whether or not visitation can be structured in a way to minimize the child’s exposure to conflict between the parent and the petitioner

Get Help From a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you have been denied the right to see your grandchild or step-child, or your child has been denied the right to see their siblings or step-siblings, you should speak with a skilled Elmhurst, IL visitation lawyer. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand how important a child’s familial relationships can be. Our goal is to ensure your visitation rights are protected and to help you maintain a close and loving relationship with the child in your life. To schedule a consultation and see how we can help, call our office at 312-605-4041.





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