Frequently Asked Questions

What is grandparent visitation and why do Illinois Courts allow it?

Grandparent visitation is time spent with a grandchild without the presence of a parent. It can be all day, overnight or a just a few hours. More and more, grandparents, and other non-parents are being called upon to take on child-care responsibilities. This demographic change in the traditional American family has led to legislation that grants child visitation rights to non-parents, such as the Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act. In most cases, the relationship between a child and his or her grandparents is a nurturing, loving relationship that provides a vital connection to the family's history and roots. However, sometimes a parent objects to visitation between a child and grandparent. It is when this family friction occurs that the state must decide whether to interfere and if so to what extent it may permissibly do so.

Who can petition for grandparent visitation?

A grandparent, great-grandparent may petition for visitation with a child as can an adult sibling of a child.

When can a person petition for visitation?

When a parent dies, when parents get divorced, or if a parent is incarcerated.

What do I need to show a judge to get court-imposed grandparent visitation?

You must first show that you are being denied visitation. Then you must establish that you have more than just a biological relationship with the child. You must be able to convince the judge that if visitation is discontinued, harm will come to the child's mental, emotional or physical health.