Visitation Rights of Grandparents in Illinois
In Illinois, as in most other states, the law recognizes a limited right of grandparents to obtain court-ordered visitation privileges with their grandchildren. However, as in other states, the law also recognizes that parents have a fundamental right to control how their children are raised, and who they visit, with minimal interference from the government. This right is balanced against the interests of the child.
There are several conditions which must be met before a court will grant visitation rights to grandparents over the objection of a parent.
First, the child must be one year or older. Second, at least one of the following conditions must be met.
- The child’s other parent is dead, or has been missing for at least 3 months
- One of the parents has been declared incompetent
- A parent has been in jail or prison for the 3 months before filing
- The parents of the child are divorced and at least one of them does not object to visitation by the grandparents
- The child was born outside of marriage, and the parents do not live together (paternal grandparents must prove paternity)
On top of this, the court must determine if visitation is in the best interests of the child, and will consider all relevant factors.
If parental rights of both parents are terminated by adoption or court order, the grandparents lose all visitation rights. A grandparent may not use their visitation rights to allow unlawful visitation by a third party, including a parent who has lost all parental rights.
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Last Modified: 09-15-2011 04:13 PM PDT