Grandparent Rights in Illinois
Grandparents and grandchildren can develop strong relationships. That relationship can be strained or interfered with in the event a parent dies, there's a divorce, or a family conflict arises, and the result of any of the latter tears the family apart or severs the grandparents' relationship. This can be traumatizing for the grandchild.
Grandparent Rights Quick Links
- Introduction to Grandparent Rights
- What are Grandparent Rights
- Our Approach to Grandparent Rights
- Services Available for Grand Parent Rights
- Grandparent Rights FAQ
- Fee Packages for Grandparent Rights Services
- How to Get Started with Our Firm
At The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Family Law), we understand the delicate nature of these types of cases and work hard to establish your grandparent rights and then safeguard them through a resolution process called mediation. We always keep what's in the best interest of the child as the foundation of our work. Contact our mediator & family law lawyer in Illinois today either by filling out our online form or calling us direct at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a free 15 min intro call or an more in-depth consultation & planning session.
Until 40 years ago, grandparent rights were unheard of in family law. However, when grandparents are involved in the lives of their grandchildren, strong bonds often form. When death or divorce threaten to separate them from their grandchildren, many grandparents today turn to mediation or the law to help them maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.
Most states provide statutory guidance on the ability of grandparents to have visitation or custody––though it is not always as inclusive as the grandparents want it to be. It truly is a state by state issue, and knowing the laws in your state is essential to understanding what rights grandparents have in your jurisdiction.
Our grandparent rights mediator and attorney in Illinois will help you understand your rights––whether you are the parent or the grandparent and can help through private mediation discussions or preparing you for court.
If both parents are alive, they are often given the discretion to determine who can be around their children during their parenting time, grandparents included. If however, there is standing for a grandparent to seek visitation rights, there are certain factors most courts take into consideration when determining whether or not a grandparent should be allowed visitation rights. Common factors include:
- Best Interest of the Child: The court will consider whether or not it is in the best interest of the child to have visitation with the grandparent.
- Previous Relationship: The court will look at the relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild to determine whether or not the relationship should continue.
- Child's Preference: When the grandchild is older, the court may take into consideration whether or not they wish to have visitation with their grandparent.
- Parental Involvement: Are both parents alive and active in the child's life? Are the parents fit custodians of the child? Are the parents together, separated, or divorced? These are all matters the court will consider.
When Can't Grandparents Request Visitation Rights in DuPage County
Most jurisdictions hold that when a child is adopted and the biological parents' rights are terminated, so are the rights of the biological grandparents. This means that the biological grandparents are not able to seek visitation rights with the child.
Due to the holding in Troxel vs. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the courts also place great weight on a parent's right to make decisions regarding their child. It is seen as a fundamental right of a parent to oversee the care, custody, and control of their child, and that means they should have the right to decide who is allowed to have visitation with their child.
Many clients want to know what rights grandparents have. We can help parents who want to block contact between a grandparent and your child and we can also help grandparents who want to take steps to maintain contact with the child or even, in some limited cases, fight for legal rights in court. Ultimately, our child centered services will ensure that best interests of the child are met.
We will meet with the parent or grandparent for an assessment of the issues and provide you with an analysis of your grandparent rights issue. Thereafter, we will schedule either individual meetings with the parent and grandparent, and if appropriate, we will also have joint meetings. Depending on the age and maturity of the child/ren, we might also schedule a child meeting to provide the child education about the family matter and to assess the child's wishes.
This child centered process to determine how to resolve a grandparents rights issue can be handled privately through mediation or can be handled through legal consulting. In limited cases, our firm may represent a party in court or facilitate a team approach for any litigation needs to help the family find a resolution.
- 1. Do I have any rights to visit with my grandchild/ren?
- To assess your grandparent rights, please fill out our form, here, and our office will contact you to set an appointment if we are able to help you.
- 2. What is Grandparent visitation?
- Grandparent visitation provides you with an enforceable schedule to rely on and visit with your grandchildren and be apart of their lives. You can read more, here.
- 3. Do you offer Flat Fees or Packages for Grandparent rights services?
- Like our approach, but not sure what services you need? Schedule a complimentary 15 min call with us.
- We offer hourly rates for certain cases but most of our clients invest in a service package.
- Mediation: If the parent and grandparent agree to participate in mediation, we offer packages for 3,6,and 12 months and meet typically every other week.
- Legal Services: If a parent or grandparent are unwilling to participate in mediation, we can offer legal consulting based upon hourly services or through flat fees.
If you are a grandparent and want to pursue either visitation of your grandchild or even if you are a parent wanting to block contact, seek information and counsel from an experienced mediator and a trusted family law attorney in your area who is well-versed in grandparent rights in your state. Our firm will be able to assist you by informing you of your state's laws and how they apply to your situation. We at The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Family Law) represent clients in Illinois, including primarily DuPage County, Kane County, Will County and Cook County. We represent clients in other Illinois jurisdictions virtually and handle custody and parenting mediation nationally via Zoom to accommodate the increase in relocations and different residences of parents and extended family. Contact us today either online or at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a consultation & planning session.
If you are considering a change because of a family law issue or a divorce, you may want to also read about our services for: Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Family Law Mediation, Child Custody, Child Support, Client Wellness, and Legal Wellness Services.