Grandparents' Rights in Arlington Heights, Illinois
Grandparents treasure spending time with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, visiting your grandchildren may be limited or completely cut off if the children’s parents separate, divorce or become involved in a child custody battle. At these times, feeling completely out of control is very common; however, as a grandparent, in some circumstances, you may have visitation rights regardless of whether the child’s parents are together.
Illinois grandparents' rights are still evolving as part of the law. Because of this, you need an experienced Illinois family lawyer who can stand up for your rights. With years of experience practicing law in Illinois, Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson has helped numerous residents gain visitation rights, and he may be able to help you. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., today for your free initial consultation.
What Grandparents' Rights Do I Have?
When parents separate, divorce or have a dispute about child custody, one parent may decide to limit a grandparent’s time with the child. This can be devastating for both the grandparent and child. In Illinois, grandparents' rights are not “automatic,” like parental rights; however, the state of Illinois recognizes that having a grandparent/grandchild relationship can benefit children. Therefore, Illinois law allows you to petition for grandparent visitation in some limited situations.
To persuade a Court to grant you grandparent visitation rights, you must first prove at least one of the following:
- A parent is incompetent, dead (or missing for three months or more) or incarcerated
- The parents are divorced or separated (if so, one parent must have no objection to your visitation with your grandchild)
- The parents were never married and are no longer together.
If you can prove at least one of these elements, you must then also show that the child’s parents have unreasonably denied your visitation with your grandchild. This means you have to prove to the Court that the parent’s refusal harms the child mentally, emotionally or physically. Even if you can prove all of these elements, the Court still has to consider a host of other factors when determining whether to grant you grandparents' visitation rights.