Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Review of Illinois' grandparent visitation laws

There are many children in Rockford, Illinois, who enjoy a healthy relationship with their grandparents. While in most cases the child's parent or parents will encourage this relationship, in some cases a parent will not want the child's grandparents, or certain other relatives for that matter, to have ongoing visits with the child.

In the world of Illinois family law, grandparents have the right to ask for court-ordered visitation under certain circumstances, presuming that a parent will not grant visitation willingly. As a caveat, it is very difficult for a grandparent to get visitation when both parents, happily married, object to visits. Generally speaking, the law provides for grandparent visitation when only one of the child's parents is acting as the primary caregiver.

In order to obtain visitation, a grandparent will need to show that the parent has denied visits and has done so unreasonably. Moreover, the grandparent will need to show that the denial hurts the child. In this respect, while the court will presume that the parent's decision to deny visits is not harmful to the child, the court will also consider a number of factors.

These factors include the nature, length and quality of the grandparent's relationship with the child, the child's own desires and wishes and the health and wellbeing of all parties involved. The court may also take other factors in to account. Getting court-ordered visits with grandchildren can be a challenging and complicated legal endeavor. Many grandparents in Illinois may need to get more information about family law options.

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