Grandparents Rights In Illinois

Grandparents Rights In Illinois (Updated) 2024

Grandparents can often provide care, love, and aid to parents of younger children. However, as parent-child ties deteriorate, a grandparent’s time with a grandchild may vary as well.

Too often, parents let their quarrels get in the way of a grandparent-grandchild bond. In other instances, a parent may believe that allowing grandparents to visit their children is damaging them. 

A grandparent must prove that visitation is important for a child’s best interests and emotional well-being in either case. Grandparents rights in Illinois are discussed in this article.

Grandparent Visitation Laws In Illinois

Parents have the basic right to rear and raise their children in the manner that they see fit. Unless the child is in danger, the government and third parties, including grandparents, are generally banned from interfering with a parent’s rights.

Grandparent rights in Illinois are not governed by federal law. Rather, each state has adopted its own grandparent visitation legislation. Troxel v. Granville, a major Supreme Court case, established the basis for state grandparent visiting legislation. Troxel overturned a Washington state statute that disregarded a parent’s reasons for opposing visitation.

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

When a parent forbids visits, it is assumed that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child. A grandparent requesting visitation must demonstrate the inverse: that spending time with a youngster is critical to his or her physical and emotional well-being. Grandparent visitation cannot, however, interfere with a parent’s one-on-one contact with their child.

Grandparent Visitation Rights Illinois

Once a kid reaches one, grandparents who want court-ordered time with their grandchildren can file a petition (written request) for visits. The grandmother must establish that the parents’ rejection of visitation is unjustified and causes bodily or mental injury to the kid before a court will grant the request. For a judge to order visitation, one of the following elements must be present:

  • The child’s parent has died or has been missing for more than 90 days.
  • The parent of the child is legally unable to care for them.
  • The child’s parent has been incarcerated for at least 90 days.
  • Because the child’s parents are divorced or legally separated, and at least one parent does not object, grandparent visits are permitted.
  • The child’s parents aren’t married and don’t live together.
  • Grandparents must show that denying visitation is not in the best interests of the child.

 For example, in one Illinois instance, a paternal grandmother’s visitation was refused because she failed to fulfill her burden of proof. The child’s parents were never married, and the father was incarcerated at the time of the child’s birth.

Before visitation was terminated, the paternal grandma had formed a strong bond with her grandson. The court, however, refused to mandate visits because the grandmother could not show that the lack of visitation was causing mental or bodily injury to her grandchild.

Even if grandparents meet their burden of proof, a court must consider a number of factors before deciding if and how much visitation is appropriate. These are some of the elements:

  • If the child is developed enough to express a reasoned view, the child’s preference.
  • The mental and physical well-being of the grandparents.
  • The previous grandparent-grandchild relationship’s length and quality.
  • The reasons for filing the petition by the grandparents.
  • The reasons for the parent’s refusal to allow visitation.
  • The amount of visitation requested and any potential consequences for the child.
  • If the child spent at least 6 months with the grandparent—with or without the parent.
  • If the grandmother was the primary caretaker for the child for at least 6 months.
  • If the grandmother has spent at least 12 months with the kid on a regular basis.
  • Any proof that losing the grandparent relationship might affect the child’s mental, physical, or emotional wellbeing.

Against the father’s desires, maternal grandparents were granted visitation in another Illinois case. The grandparents had been full-time caregivers for the children for 18 months, shortly after their mother died in a vehicle accident. The children’s father was recovering from injuries received in a car accident during this time.

He then remarried and moved to New Mexico with his children, severing all ties with the grandparents. The court concluded that terminating the grandparents’ relationship with the children would be harmful to the children because the grandparents had a special link with them.

Also, read: Child support in Illinois.

Grandparents Custody Rights In Illinois

In some cases, a grandmother may be better financially or emotionally able to satisfy the requirements of a kid than a parent. However, this isn’t enough for a grandparent to gain custody of their grandchildren. Grandparents in Illinois can only seek custody if they meet the following criteria:

  • The parents of the child have voluntarily abandoned custody of the child.
  • The parents of the child have been found unfit.

A judge in Illinois recently denied paternal grandmother and step grandfather custody of their grandchildren. The parents of the child were unmarried, and the grandparents looked after the child on a daily basis while the parents worked.

The child’s mother once asked the grandparents to care for the youngster while she relocated temporarily. The youngster is also covered by the grandparents’ health insurance plan. However, because the parents had never given care of their kid, the grandparents were barred from obtaining custody.

Adoption and Grandparents’ Rights

Adoption, in most cases, separates a child from their birth family. This rule applies to grandparents as well. When a child’s adoption is finalized, any visitation orders that were in place prior to the adoption will be automatically terminated.

Grandparents rights in Illinois don’t guarantee visitation even in the case of stepparent adoption. In the case of a stepparent adoption, a grandparent has the standing to file a visitation petition, but the grandparent must still show that the child would be harmed by the lack of visits. It’s often difficult for a grandparent to shoulder that responsibility.

Grandparents hold a special place in the lives of children. Too often, resentment or divorce forces one parent to exclude grandparents from their children’s lives. If you wish to continue to be a part of your grandchild’s life, you have legal options.

Can grandparents sue for visitation rights in Illinois?

By default, Illinois does not allow grandparents or other non-parents to visit their grandchildren. Until it is proven that the relationship is harmful to the child, parents are given the right to choose who their child has a relationship with.

If a grandparent wants to apply for visitation privileges, they must show that they had a relationship with the children before the divorce. To put it another way, a court may aid in the rehabilitation of an existing relationship but not in the development of a new one.

 Can grandparents sue for visitation rights in Illinois?

 By default, Illinois does not allow grandparents or other non-parents to visit their grandchildren. Until it is proven that the relationship is harmful to the child, parents are given the right to choose who their child has a relationship with.

If a grandparent wants to apply for visitation privileges, they must show that they had a relationship with the children before the divorce. To put it another way, a court may aid in the rehabilitation of an existing relationship but not in the development of a new one.

Faqs

 How do I get grandparents rights in Illinois?

In order to persuade the court that the kid should be put with them, grandparents must generally show that the parent is unfit. Even if the grandparent-grandchild relationship is strong, it is often difficult for a grandparent to get custody of a grandchild against the wishes of the parents.

What is considered an unfit parent in Illinois?

 An unfit parent does not have their child’s best interests at heart. Parental rights can only be revoked in Illinois through a state-initiated juvenile proceeding or in conjunction with the Adoption Act.

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One Comment

  1. I have been helping my daughter, Theresa, and her husband, Peter, financially for a little more than a year. I was giving money to all of my six children, but they received much more. Now, my finances are pretty much drained and I am unable to do this, so they were all messaged that the stipend will cease. Peter and Theresa insisted that they should still get the $500 a month, even if the others didn’t. As a parent, I cannot make exception to this request. Their combined salary is $210,000 annually. They simply live far beyond their means with careless spending. I denied their request and now they have broken off all communication, including not allowing me to be with, talk to, or see the three grandchildren. I have been very close with these three since their birth, we have a strong , loving bond. This is heartwrenching to me and to them. i am nearly 83 years old and this relationship is so, so important to me. Am I able to procure rights to being with them under the law? Please. Thank you

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