Visitation by Certain Non-Parents—Who can request visitation and with what stipulations?

Under ILCS 602.9 a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling or step-parent can request visitation and electronic communication with a minor child. A sibling under this statue is list as, “ a brother or sister either or the whole blood or the half blood, stepbrother, or stepsister of the minor child.   In order to obtain visitation rights, a person must bring an action in the circuit court by a petition or may file a petition if another proceeding is pending, such as a divorce or parentage case. Parties cannot bring an action  if the minor child has been adopted by a non-related party or who has been voluntarily surrendered by the parent or parents of the minor child and if a minor child is adopted after an Order is entered, the visitation Order then becomes void upon adoption.

 

A petition for visitation may only be filed under this Section if there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation by a parent and the denial has caused the child undue mental, physical, or emotional harm.  There is also a rebuttable presumption that  fit parent’s actions and decisions regarding grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent visitation are not harmful to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.  The burden is on the party filing a petition under this Section to prove that the parent’s actions and decisions regarding visitation will cause undue harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.

 

In determining whether to grant visitation, the court shall consider the following:

  (A) the wishes of the child, taking into account
the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to visitation;
            (B) the mental and physical health of the child;
(C) the mental and physical health of the
grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent;
            (D) the length and quality of the prior
relationship between the child and the grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent;
            (E) the good faith of the party in filing the
petition;
            (F) the good faith of the person denying
visitation;
            (G) the quantity of the visitation time requested
and the potential adverse impact that visitation would have on the child’s customary activities;
            (H) any other fact that establishes that the loss
of the relationship between the petitioner and the child is likely to unduly harm the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health; and
            (I) whether visitation can be structured in a way
to minimize the child’s exposure to conflicts between the adults.

 

To read the full statute and the other possible ways a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling or step-parent may properly petition for visitation please click here:http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

(750 ILCS 5/602.9) Sec. 602.9. Visitation by certain non-parents. (a) As used in this Section: (1) “electronic communication” means time that a

 

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