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.
Many clients want to know what rights grandparents have. Our clients are both parents who want to block contact between a grandparent and your child and grandparents who want to take legal steps to maintain contact with the child or even, in some cases, fight for legal rights.
At The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Law), we understand the delicate nature of these types of cases and work hard to establish your legal rights and then safeguard them. We always keep what's in the best interest of the child as the foundation of our work. Contact our family law lawyer in Illinois today either by filling out our online form or calling us direct at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a consultation & planning session.
Can Grandparents Get Visitation Rights in DuPage County?
Until 40 years ago, grandparent rights were unheard of. 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 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 attorney in Illinois will help you understand your rights––whether you are the parent or the grandparent.
Considerations for Grandparent Visitation Rights in Illinois
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.
Contact a Family Law Lawyer for Grandparent Rights in Illinois
If you are a grandparent and want to pursue either visitation or custody of your grandchild or even if you are a parent wanting to block contact, seek counsel from a trusted family law attorney in your area who is well-versed in grandparent rights in your state. They 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 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.