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Can Someone Other than a Parent Get Visitation With a Child?

 Posted on April 12, 2023 in Family Law

Markham Family Law AttorneyWhen we talk about child custody and visitation, we usually do so in the context of parents spending time with their children. However, Illinois law allows certain non-parents to receive court-ordered visitation in certain situations.

According to Illinois law, grandparents, great-grandparents, stepparents, and siblings may be granted visitation rights.

When is a Family Member Able to Receive Visitation?

When somebody has court-ordered visitation, they are guaranteed the right to spend time with the child. This can be useful for situations involving family conflicts or when a child's parent refuses to let them see a family member.

Illinois courts presume that a child should spend time with both of his or her biological parents. However, the court may grant visitation to a non-parent if doing so is in the child's best interests. A non-parent may request visitation with the child if the non-parent can demonstrate that he or she was unfairly denied visitation with the child and at least one of the following statements is true:

  • The child’s parents were never married.

  • The child’s parents are divorced or soon will be and one or both parents agree to non-parent visitation.

  • A parent is deceased or has been missing for three months or longer.

  • A parent has been deemed incompetent.

  • A parent has been in jail for three months or longer.

How Do Courts Decide Whether to Award Non-Parent Visitation?

The criteria listed above are the bare minimum requirements for receiving non-parent visitation. However, the courts will evaluate a few different factors before making a final decision. If the child is old enough to express an opinion, the court will consider the child's opinion on non-parent visitation. The court will also consider the non-parents reasoning for requesting visitation, the relationship between the non-parent and the child, how frequently the non-parent and the child have interacted in the past, and the health of the parties involved.

Contact our Joliet Visitation Lawyers

When family members disagree about what is best for children, the situation can become complicated and contentious. The Will County family law attorneys at The Foray Firm understand the intricacies and difficulties involved with child custody and visitation cases. We can help you take the legal action necessary to protect your rights and the rights of the child in question. Call 312-702-1293 to set up a confidential consultation.




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