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Are there Grandparents Rights in Illinois?

Divorce and the Holidays.jpgThe answer is yes you do have Grandparents Rights but the Illinois Courts don't make it easy for you. There are a number of requirements.

You can file a Petition for Visitation in a pending Divorce or Custody Case or on your own in the county where your grandchild resides. 

Keep in mind though, you can only file that Grandparents Rights Petition if there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation by one parent and the other parent does not object to your seeing your grandkids or that other parent is out of the picture. Either the other parent has been missing or incarcerated for the past 90 days or has been declared incompetent.

Why is it so hard to win on these claims?

The courts presume that the parent denying you time with your grandkids has their best interests at heart. You must prove to the judge that denying your grandkids time with you causes them undue mental and/or physical harm.

The courts will also consider your mental and physical health, how long you have had a relationship with your grandkids, the amount of time that you are requesting and whether visitation with you, the grandparents, can be structured not to interfere with your grandkids' daily activities and in such a way as to minimize the grandkids' exposure to conflict between the adults.

The courts will also look at whether the grandkids have lived with you for at least a year, had frequent contact with you on a regular basis for at least 12 months and whether you as grandparents were their primary caretakers for at least 6 months in the past two years.

This is complicated. Consult a lawyer to consider your best options.

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