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


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

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Can Step-Parents Fight For Visitation Rights in Illinois? 

Posted on in Child Custody

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1926120011.jpgWhen getting a divorce, a very important situation to figure out is determining who will have custody of the children. Whether full custody is granted to one parent or a shared child custody arrangement is put into place amongst co-parenting adults, the ultimate decision can yield quite the grueling process. The topics of child custody and visitation become even more complex when step-parents are interested in pursuing legal access to the children as well. 

Who is Legally Defined as a Step-Parent in Illinois? 

In Illinois, the law specifies that a step-parent is an individual who is legally married to one of the parents of the child in question. While someone may consider his- or herself a parental figure to a child, if he or she is dating the child's parent, as opposed to being officially married to them in the eyes of the law, then Illinois does not recognize said individual as a step-parent. Without an official marriage license, the partner of a child's parent cannot be considered a step-parent. 

Do Step-Parents Have Visitation Rights in Illinois?

Step-parents have visitation rights in Illinois under certain conditions. A step-parent may petition for visitation rights to a child if the parent of the child has denied the step-parent any access to, communication with, or visitation with the child. 

This denial of communication or visitation must also be shown to have resulted in harm of some kind, whether that is on a mental, emotional, or physical level. Without evidence or proof that the lack of visitation being granted to the step-parent is causing harm to the child, the petition for visitation rights may be denied. 

When petitioning for visitation, a long list of factors will be considered, including but not limited to the following:

  • The best interest of the child

  • The overall well-being of the child 

  • The overall well-being of the step-parent 

  • The nature of the step-parent's relationship with the child 

  • The intentions of the step-parent 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney 

Pursuing visitation as a step-parent during divorce proceedings can be an overwhelming process to navigate on your own. The best plan of action is to hire an attorney who has experience representing step-parents interested in receiving visitation rights. 

Are you a step-parent who is in need of legal representation in the pursuit of visitation rights regarding your step-children? Call 630-409-8184 to speak to The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. and schedule your initial consultation with a North Aurora family law attorney



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


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

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