One of the most difficult things that can happen in a divorce is the fallout between the parents of a child and the child’s grandparents or other family members. Sometimes parents are trying so hard to get “even” with each other that they are willing to sacrifice the child’s relationship with their relatives. Other times, the parent dislikes their former partner’s family or feels that interacting with them is simply too painful.
Whatever the reason, the loss of the relationship between the grandparents and the child can be very painful. Grandparents may wonder whether they have the right to visit their grandchild, even if one of the parents does not consent. Although parents are generally permitted to make decisions regarding whether a child has visitation with family members, it may be possible to petition for visitation. If you are a grandparent or other relative in this situation, read on.
Grandparents will be relieved to know that, in certain circumstances, they can successfully petition for visitation rights with their grandchild. In fact, this is true for other family members as well: great-grandparents, siblings, and step-parents can also petition for visitation rights when at least one parent has unreasonably denied a request to visit a child.
Additionally, for a petition to be considered, at least one of the following must be true:
The parents are divorced, legally separated, or involved in a court proceeding contesting the custody of the child and one parent consents to the non-parent visiting the child
The parents are not married or living together
One or both parents have passed away
One or both parents have gone missing or been in prison for at least 90 days
Filing a petition does not guarantee access to a child. Courts in Illinois strive to do what is in a child's best interests, and judges will carefully consider different factors before approving visitation. These include, but are not limited to:
The length and quality of the relationship between the non-parent and the child
Whether the child would suffer harm if not permitted to visit the non-parent
The mental and physical health of the non-parent
The reasons that a parent denies visitation
The reasons that the non-parent wants visitation
If age-appropriate, the child’s opinion on the matter
Whether the non-parent was a child’s primary caretaker in the two years prior to filing a petition or whether the child ever lived with the non-parent
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we know that some of the most meaningful relationships a child has in his or her young life are with people other than parents. Our experienced DuPage County visitation attorneys understand how important it is to preserve your relationship with the child you love, and we will help you fight to maintain that relationship. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices. Call us at 630-932-9100.
630-932-9100Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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