Grandparents Rights Attorney Chicago
If you are seeking the right to form or maintain a relationship with your grandchild, a grandparents rights attorney can help. As a grandparent, it is heartbreaking to be denied a relationship with your grandchildren. Unfortunately, this can happen if your grandchildren’s parents divorce or if one of the parents passes away. The custodial parent may attempt to restrict time their child spends with their grandparents due to bitter feelings or they feel that the grandparents bring about emotions they consider to be damaging or confusing to the child. For grandparents, the real difficulty arises when they are wrongfully denied access to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives.
If you are denied visitation with your grandchild, contact Anderson & Boback to speak with a grandparent rights attorney. We have helped to maintain and strengthen the bond between grandparent and grandchild.
Illinois family law allows grandparents to seek the right for visitation with their grandchildren by granting them “standing”, which basically gives them the right to request visitation. This applies to electronic communication as well. The State of Illinois realizes the significant role that grandparents can have in a child’s life, with many households in Illinois listing grandparents as the primary caregiver for the children in the home. Depending on the circumstances, in cases like these grandparents may even seek custody of their grandchild.
Anderson & Boback attorneys have experience in helping grandparents obtain custody of grandchildren when it is in the best interest of the child, and to establish visitation when they are wrongfully denied.
A Grandparent’ Right to Visitation
In Illinois, grandparent visitation is given pursuant to the statute 750 ILCS 5/602.9, which grants visitation and electronic communication rights to certain non-parents including siblings, step-parents, and grandparents.
The statute allows for grandparents’ rights and the Court can order visitation between you and your grandchildren. While grandparents have the right to seek court-ordered visitation, they have limited rights and privileges with their grandchildren under Illinois family law. Parents have the ultimate right to decide who maintains contact with their children and how they are raised. The rights of the parents are weighed against the best interests of the child.
Filing a Petition for Grandparent Rights to Visitation
Before a grandparent may file a petition, they must show the court that there has been an unreasonable denial of access to their grandchildren. The court will evaluate the best interests of the child and the rights of the parents when considering granting grandparent rights.
The court will consider granting access to the grandparent if the child is at least one year of age and one of the following conditions is met:
- One of the parents has been declared incompetent or incarcerated for at least three months
- One of the child’s parents has been missing for at least three months or has passed away
- The parents of the child are divorced with at least one parent having no objection to contact and visitation with the grandparents
- The parents of the child had never been married or lived together. Paternal grandparents are required to show evidence of paternity
Grandparents are required to show to the courts their involvement in their grandchild’s life. Parents have an opportunity to make any objections or voice concerns to the court regarding the grandparents interfering in their decision-making ability with the child or attempts to interfere in the child’s relationship with the parent. The judge will listen to all evidence and decide that is in the child’s best interests.
When determining whether to grant grandparent rights for visitation, the court takes many things into consideration, including the following:
- Child’s wishes based on their age and maturity level
- The mental and physical health of the child
- The mental and physical health of the grandparent
- Quality and nature of the grandparent-child relationship
- Amount of visitation requested by the grandparent
- Parent’s reasons for objection to grandparent visitation
- Reasonableness of the parent
Grandparent visitation rights must not interfere with the visitation of the non-custodial parent. Once a visitation schedule is established, it cannot be modified for two years, unless the child would be endangered. This is to provide stability to the child’s life.
Because the Court’s determination is so subjective, it’s critical to have an experienced grandparents rights attorney to help you through the process.
Child Custody and Grandparents Rights
In some cases, grandparents may decide to seek custody of a grandchild when the situation warrants it. For instance, if the parent is a minor and unable to take care of the child, the parent is mentally incapacitated, incarcerated or deceased.
Grandparents may also seek temporary guardianship for a brief time without requesting permanent custody. A grandparent rights attorney can help you to explain your options and rights so that you can make the best decisions for your family.
A Grandparents Rights Attorney Can Help
Anderson & Boback understands the importance of maintaining an active relationship with your grandchild. Grandparents need to be there for their grandchildren to provide comfort and support, helping them grow and learn, and sharing in the joy of all their accomplishments.
We also realize that parents have valid reasons for restricting visitation with their children. If you are seeking to prevent visitation with a grandparent, we advocate for your interests.
Anderson & Boback are family law attorneys in Chicago, with experience in all facets of Illinois divorce and family law. We listen to your concerns, explain your options and develop a strategy with you to protect your rights and the rights of your grandchildren. Contact us today to speak with a qualified grandparents rights attorney.