Grandparents' Rights: Exploring the Ins and Outs of Seeking Custody and Visitation of Grandchildren
Parents almost always determine the outcome of child custody cases. But in certain unfortunate family events, a grandparent may need to seek parental responsibility. Usually, this occurs for a child’s safety or out of concerns about parental unfitness. Understanding the ins and outs of grandparents' rights can be critical.The best thing a grandparent can do is get help from a child custody attorney to aid in building a solid case and advocating for their rights.
Custody vs. Visitation
Parental responsibilities, formerly known as custody, is the power to decide important matters on behalf of a child, such as religious upbringing, education, healthcare, and more. Visitation involves spending time with grandchildren, even if they live with their parents. Both are quite different and need a separate set of requirements to petition for it.
Can Grandparents Get Custody of Grandchildren in Illinois?
Grandparents may need to seek custody or visitation rights to maintain contact with their grandchildren. Grandparents seeking custody must prove that living with them is best for the child. When deciding whether to let grandparents have custody of a child, the court system considers several factors, including:
- The child’s and grandparent's relationship
- Parental fitness
- Child's living situation
- Child's preference (if age-appropriate)
A compelling case presents the best interest of the child. A child custody attorney can support these efforts. However, grandparents can only be given custody over a child in certain circumstances. These include:
- The parental rights of both the parents have been terminated because of substance abuse issues, mental health issues, etc.
- One or both parents have passed away
- One or both parents are imprisoned
- One or both parents gave up custody of a child
What Are the Visitation Rights in Illinois for Grandparents?
Typically, parents are always allowed to make decisions about who their child spends time with. This can make it difficult for grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren, and although this may be sad, most often grandparents cannot do anything about it. However, under certain circumstances, a grandparent can seek visitation rights if it benefits a child.
When overruling a parent’s objections to a child spending time with their grandparents, the court will examine the child's well-being and their relationship with the grandparents very carefully. If the child had a close relationship with the grandparent before, the court may decide that not seeing a grandparent would hurt a child and could order visitation.
Contact a Kane County, IL, Child Custody Attorney
Grandparents seeking custody or visitation may be up against difficult odds, but a family law attorney may be able to help. They are knowledgeable and can assist you in navigating the legal system. Van Larson Law, P.C.’s qualified Kane County, IL, child custody attorney can do just that. For a free consultation, please contact 630-879-9090.