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


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

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Protecting Your Rights as a Grandparent in Illinois

 Posted on March 11,2024 in Family Law

Batavia family lawyerIf your child is going through a divorce, you may be worried about maintaining your relationship with your grandchildren. Divorce can disrupt grandparent-grandchild bonds, but Illinois law provides some protection for grandparent visitation rights. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine what you need to know to protect your access to your grandchildren during and after your child’s divorce.

Your Visitation Rights Under Illinois Law

Illinois law allows judges to provide visitation rights to grandparents if it is in the child’s best interests. As a grandparent, you can petition the court for visitation if one of the following circumstances applies:

  • One of the parents has died or has been declared mentally ill or incompetent.
  • The parents are going through a divorce or have been divorced for under a year.
  • The child was born out of wedlock, and paternity was established.

Steps to Request Visitation

If you want formal visitation rights with your grandchild after a divorce, here are the steps to take:

  • Consult an experienced family law attorney. Having a lawyer guide you through the process is highly recommended.
  • File a petition for visitation in the circuit court in the county where the child resides. In your petition, you must explain why visitation is in the grandchild’s best interests.
  • Notify the child’s parents and allow them time to respond to your petition. Be prepared to negotiate visitation terms.
  • Attend any hearings related to your petition. You will likely need to convince the judge that visitation should be granted over any objections from the parents.

How Judges Determine Grandparent Visitation

Judges have significant discretion in deciding grandparent visitation cases. They must balance the benefits to the child against the rights of the parents. Specific factors considered include:

  • The child’s wishes, taking into account their maturity and ability to evaluate the situation.
  • The mental and physical health of those involved.
  • The nature and length of the grandparent-grandchild relationship.
  • The impact visitation, or lack thereof, would have on the child.
  • Whether visitation would interfere with the parent-child relationship.

Understanding how judges make these decisions can help you better present the specifics of your case and advocate for visitation rights. It is highly recommended that you have an attorney guide you.

Maintain Communication and Be Reasonable

Going through formal legal proceedings can damage family relationships. Try to come to reasonable visitation agreements directly with your child and their ex without court intervention. However, if your rights are being denied or disrupted without justification, do not hesitate to petition the court as your situation allows under Illinois law.

Contact a Batavia, IL Family Lawyer

If you want to see if you can get legal permission to see your grandchild, a Kane County, IL family law attorney can help. Bring any proof with you for the best chance of a successful case with an attorney with more than 15 years of experience. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 for a private consultation to see the next step you should take. You can use the convenience of having your consultation on Zoom chat.

Share this post:
The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top