Grandparents' Rights in Southern Illinois
Grandparents' and their grandchildren
The idea of losing access to your grandchildren is painful. On the other hand, parents have a right to control who sees their children. Rebecca understands how difficult it can be when families cannot agree about grandparent / child relationships and is here to advise and help you. In Illinois, grandparents have limited rights to have access to grandchildren if their parents or guardians do not want to allow that access.
Is the Denial Unreasonable?
In a grandparents’ rights case, your attorney must convince the judge that denial of visitation is unreasonable and will cause physical or emotional harm to the child. In addition, your lawyer must show at least one of the following factors:
- Parent is legally incompetent to provide care
- Parent is deceased or missing for at least 90 days
- Parent has been in jail for at least 90 days
- Parents are divorced or legally separated and at least one parent does not object to grandparent visitation
- Parents are unmarried and not living together
Assuming the grandparent meets the first two steps, the judge next looks to some additional factors:
- For mature children who can explain their feelings, the court will ask the child
- The physical and mental health of the grandparents
- The quality and length of the relationship between the grandparent and grandchild
- Why the parents are denying visitation
- Why the grandparents are filing for visitation
- How much visitation is being requested and how it will impact the child
- Whether the child lived with the grandparents for at least 6 months
- Whether the grandparent acted as primary caretaker of the child for at least 6 months
- How much visitation the grandparent had with the child over the past year
- The impact of the loss of the grandparent/grandchild relationship on the child
Is Full Custody of Grandchildren Possible?
In some cases, grandparents will seek full custody over their grandchildren. In order for a grandparent to seek full custody, parental rights must have been terminated by the parents’ choice or because the parent were deemed unfit. If a child is given up for adoption, grandparents’ rights are terminated.
Contact Rebecca for Help
If you are interested in learning more about grandparents’ rights in Illinois, are considering filing for grandparents’ visitation, or are a parent defending against a visitation case, reach out to Rebecca for help.