The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Can a Grandparent Request Visitation with a Grandchild in Illinois?

 Posted on November 11,2021 in Visitation

kane county family law attorneyIllinois formerly considered any court-sanctioned time spent with a child as “visitation,” even if it was time with the child’s parents. Now, the time that parents spend with their children is called “parenting time,” and the term “visitation” is only used when a non-parent obtains a court order allowing them to spend time with a child. 

Generally, parents have total discretion when deciding who gets to visit their children and spend time with them. However, after parents get divorced, grandparents who previously played a large role in a child’s life may find themselves suddenly shut out. When this happens, it is possible to petition the court for the right to visit that child, but only when certain circumstances are met. 

Who Can Petition For a Right to Visit a Child in Illinois? 

Grandparents are not the only non-parental figures who can petition for the right to visit the child. Great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings can also request the right to spend time with a child. Any person who is requesting visitation must prove the following: 

  • The individual petitioning for access to the child is a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent of the child 

  • The child’s parents have been restricting the relative from visiting the child

  • This restriction has caused the child harm

When Can a Grandparent Get Visitation in Illinois? 

Once these initial terms are met, the person requesting visitation must also show at least one of the following conditions exists: 

  • The child’s parents are divorced or legally separated, or the divorce process is ongoing and one of the child’s parents does not object to the child having visitation with the non-parent

  • At least one parent has been jailed for the past 90 days

  • At least one parent has been declared incompetent 

  • The child was born to unwed parents whose parentage has been established but who are not together

  • At least one parent is dead

  • At least one parent has been missing for at least 90 days

When deciding whether to grant visitation to non-parents, Illinois judges will consider several different factors. These include the nature, length, and quality of the relationship between the petitioner and the child, the wishes of the child (if age-appropriate), the physical and mental health of the child and the petitioner, and how the visitation would likely impact the child. 

Meet with a North Aurora Grandparent Visitation Attorney

If you want to ensure your grandchildren can remain in your life in a meaningful way, an experienced Kane County relative visitation attorney with The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. may be able to help you pursue visitation rights. Schedule a confidential consultation with us by Zoom or in-person by calling our offices at 630-409-8184 today. 



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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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