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Sibling visitation rights in Illinois


Every family in Illinois is unique. Each make up is different as well as the dynamics within the home and between each other. Some families all live in one home with both parents, but this is not always the case. Sometimes parents are divorced or never married in the first place. The parents may then remarry and the family is blended with another one. Due to this fact, family members may not see each other as much as they would like. This goes for siblings as well as for parents and children.

Sibling visitation is a potential family law issue for many Illinois families. If a sibling is being denied visitation by a parent, the siblings may petition the court for visitation with each other. A sibling is defined as a brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister. A sibling can file a petition for visitation with another minor sibling if at least one parent does not object to the visitation and it does not interfere with a parent's visitation.

In determining whether to grant visitation, the court will analyze a number of factors and the burden is on the sibling to prove why visitation is in the best interests of the minor child. The court will look at the preference of the child, the mental and physical health of the child and the sibling, the length and quality of the relationship between the siblings, the amount of recent contact the siblings had, the reasons why one parent is denying visitation, whether the sibling was a primary caretaker of the child and others.

Family dynamics and family law issues in Illinois are very different from family to family. In some situations a parent may deny siblings from seeing each other for one reason or another. If the siblings wish to have visitation, they do have the right to petition the court to grant visitation. This determination is made by analyzing a number of factors based on the unique relationship of the siblings. A Rockford family lawyer can help local families with these and other family legal issues such as child custody.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/607," accessed Sept. 22, 2015

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