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

630-409-8184

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

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Can I Get Legal Guardianship of My Grandchild?

Posted on in Guardianship

Kendall County Grandparent Rights LawyerGrandmothers and grandfathers often have a special relationship with their grandchild. Usually grandparents are secondary caregivers in a child’s life but the child’s parents take on the majority of the parental duties. However, in certain situations, grandparents must step in and take on the role of a parent. Sometimes grandparent guardianship is needed because the child’s parents have passed away or are incarcerated. In other cases, substance abuse or mental illness prevent parents from giving a child the care and attention he or she needs. If you are a grandparent and you are interested in becoming your child’s legal guardian, read on to learn more.

Guardianship Laws in Illinois

Illinois law states that an adult may become a child’s legal guardian if the adult:

  • Is of sound mind

  • Does not have a disability

  • Has not been convicted of a felony

Parents sometimes name guardians and successor guardians for minor children in their will. This ensures that if they pass away prematurely, their children will be in safe hands. If you were named as your grandchild’s guardian in a valid will or other estate planning document, the court will likely uphold the guardianship. However, if you were not already named as a guardian but you want to pursue guardianship, you will need to petition the court.

Filing a Petition for Appointment of Guardian

There are many different reasons that a grandparent may want to become a grandchild’s legal guardian. Some grandparents believe that the grandchild is in danger due to the parent’s behavior or worry that the parent cannot adequately care for the child.

To become your grandchild’s guardian, you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the child’s parent(s) are unable or unwilling to keep the child safe and provide a reasonable degree of care. Illinois courts always make decisions like these with the child’s best interests as the top priority.

Grandparent Visitation is An Alternative Option

Another option for grandparents who want to remain involved in their grandchild’s life is grandparent visitation. Usually, only parents can be allocated parental responsibilities (custody) or parenting time (visitation) with a child. However, a grandparent may receive court-ordered visitation with the child if the grandparent has been unfairly denied visitation with the child by the parent(s) and:

  • A parent is deemed unfit

  • A parent is deceased

  • A parent has been incarcerated for at least three months

  • The parents are divorced and at least one parent agrees to the grandparent visitation order

  • The child’s parents were never married and are not living together

Contact an Aurora Grandparents Rights Lawyer

If you are a grandparent who wants to take a more active role in your grandchild’s life, Aurora family law attorney Matthew M. Williams can help you explore all of your options and take the next steps. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/OSG/Pages/Guardianship-Fact-sheet.aspx

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

630-409-8184

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

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