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Illinois Family Law Gives Grandparents Legal Rights in Certain Circumstances
At Arami Law, we’ve witnessed the pain of grandparents who’ve been wrongly denied access to their grandchildren. After a divorce or the death of a spouse, the custodial parent may put obstacles between the grandparents and the children, either out of bitterness or a good-faith belief that the grandparents stir emotions that are damaging to the children. Fortunately, the state of Illinois has recognized the importance of the relationship between children and their grandparents and has enacted laws supporting grandparent visitation rights. Arami Law assists grandparents who want to maintain a loving relationship with their grandchildren. However, we recognize that parents often have sound reasons for limiting access to their children, so we also represent them in defending their prerogatives.
Under What Circumstances Does a Grandparent Have Visitation Rights?
A parent’s denial of grandparent visitation must be unreasonable for a court to consider allowing access. These circumstances may also merit court intervention:
- If the child’s other parent is deceasedor missing for at least three months– In Illinois family law, a court is only authorized to order grandparent visitation if the surviving parent is incompetent or has been incarcerated during the preceding three months.
- If the parents are divorced orlegally separated, or a marital dissolution is pending– Courts may grant grandparent visitation if at least one parent does not object to it. The visits must not interfere with the noncustodial parent’s time with the child.
- If the child is born out of wedlockand the parents are not living together– Illinois law favors visitation for maternal and paternal grandparents if paternity has been established in a court.
What Factors Does an Illinois Court Consider When Deciding Grandparent Visitation?
The court looks at several aspects when determining whether to enforce grandparent visitation rights over the objection of a custodial parent. Common considerations include:
- The child’s preference, if the child is mature enough
- The child’s mental and physical health
- The grandparent’s mental and physical health
- The length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the grandparent
- The amount of visitation time requested
- The potential adverse effect on the child’s customary activities
- Any fact that establishes that the loss of the grandparent relationship is likely to harm the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health
In addition, the court takes into consideration the reasonableness of the parent. Since this is highly subjective, you need an experienced attorney who can present your case in a professional and compelling manner to prevail in court.
Contact Our Family Law Office for Grandparents’ Rights Representation in Chicago
Arami Law represents grandparents and parents in disputes over visitation rights throughout the greater Chicago area. We handle these highly emotional cases with sensitivity and professionalism. To schedule a consultation, call us today or contact our Chicago office online.
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