Before 2005, Illinois grandparents could not obtain a court order authorizing visitation with their grandchildren. From 2005 to 2007, the Illinois Legislature enacted a string of amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act addressing grandparent visitation. The evolving law in Illinois exhibits lawmakers’ recognition of the important role that grandparents can play in their grandchildren’s lives.
In accordance with a series of amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Illinois law authorizes grandparents to petition for visitation with a grandchild who is at least one year old. Interested grandparents may file in the county where the grandchild resides, independent of any pending divorce or custody case.
To obtain visitation rights in Illinois, grandparents must meet the following two elements:
(1) Grandparents must show that they have been unreasonably denied visitation by a parent of the grandchild; and
(2) One of the following statements is true:
When evaluating whether or not to grant visitation rights to grandparents, Illinois courts will review the following variables:
Unless proven otherwise, Illinois law assumes that a parent’s decisions regarding grandparents’ visitation is in the best interest of the child. Therefore, Illinois grandparents face an uphill battle to successfully petition the court for visitation when the parents are opposed to it.
If you are a grandparent with a grandchild within the jurisdiction of the Cook County court and feel that you are being unreasonably excluded from seeing your grandchildren, consult with a Cook County family law attorney to determine if you may petition the court.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and families. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As a…
Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her studies…