The state of grandparent visitation rights in Illinois has been changing during the past few years. After a United States Supreme Court decision wiped out most grandparent visitation laws, most states (including Illinois) rewrote their laws to comply with the decision. In 2004 the Illinois legislature adopted many changes, and allowed grandparents (as well as great-grandparents and siblings) to file petitions for visitation rights in court if an “unreasonable denial” of visitation by a parent takes place and at least one of the following conditions exists: (a) one parents is incompetent as a matter of law or deceased or has been sentenced to prison for at least one year, (b) the parents are divorced (or are in the process of a divorce) or are legally separated and at least one parent does not object to the grandparent visitation, (c) the grandparent of a parent whose parental rights have been terminated by the court (other than a juvenile court) seeks visitation (this does not apply in unrelated adoption cases), and (d) a grandparent of a child born out of wedlock seeks visitation (so long as the parents are not living together and paternity has been established for the father).
Sadly, there are all too many grandparents, great-grandparents, or siblings of a parent denied visitation with a child. While it is always preferable for the adults to cooperate and allow a child to have access to extended family members, it is comforting to know that a grandparent can turn to our courts to seek access to a child, if that access is denied.
Know your rights as a grandparent and contact an experienced Attorney
Email a Chicago Family Law Attorney for more information or call our Chicago office at 312.360.0250 or our Skokie office at 847.329.0101