STEP-PARENT VISITATION

The law on step-parent visitation is the same as grandparent visitation and be located in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act at 750 ILCS 5/602.9(a)

 

Per the act, there is a rebuttable presumption that a 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 750 ILCS 5/602.9 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:

 

* The wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to visitation;

* The mental and physical health of the child;

* The mental and physical health of the grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent;

* The length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the grandparent, great-grandparent,  sibling, or step-parent;

* The good faith of the party in filing the petition;

* The good faith of the person denying visitation;

* The quantity of the visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation would have on the child’s customary activities;

* 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

* Whether visitation can be structured in a way to minimize the child’s exposure to conflicts between the adults.

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