Is a grandparent entitled to visitation rights in case of divorce in Illinois?
My daughter-in-law has filed for a divorce. She has also filed for the custody of both my grandchildren. I am very much attached to my grandchildren. My son was drunk and quite abusive and I don’t blame her for filing for divorce. In the event that she is given full custody of the kids, is it possible for me get visitation time with my grandchildren?11/24/2016 | Category: Divorce » Grandparents... | State: Illinois | #27121
(c) Visitation by grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings.
(1) Grandparents, great-grandparents, step-parents, and siblings of a minor child who is one year old or older may bring a petition for visitation and electronic communication under this Section if there is an unreasonable denial of visitation by a parent that causes undue mental, physical, or emotional harm to the child and if at least one of the following conditions exists:
(A) the child's other parent is deceased or has been missing for at least 90 days. For the purposes of this subsection a parent is considered to be missing if the parent's location has not been determined and the parent has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency; or
(B) a parent of the child is incompetent as a matter of law; or
(C) a parent has been incarcerated in jail or prison for a period in excess of 90 days immediately prior to the filing of the petition; or
(D) the child's parents have been granted a dissolution of marriage or have been legally separated from each other or there is pending a dissolution proceeding involving a parent of the child or another court proceeding involving parental responsibilities or visitation of the child (other than an adoption proceeding of an unrelated child, a proceeding under Article II of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405/2-1 et seq.], or an action for an order of protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 or Article 112A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 [750 ILCS 60/101 et seq. or 725 ILCS 5/112A-1]) and at least one parent does not object to the grandparent, great-grandparent, step-parent, or sibling having visitation with the child. The visitation of the grandparent, great-grandparent, step-parent, or sibling must not diminish the parenting time of the parent who is not related to the grandparent, great-grandparent, step-parent, or sibling seeking visitation; or
(E) the child is born to parents who are not married to each other, the parents are not living together, and the petitioner is a grandparent, great-grandparent, step-parent, or sibling of the child, and parentage has been established by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) In addition to the factors set forth in subdivision (b)(5) of this Section, the court should consider:
(A) whether the child resided with the petitioner for at least 6 consecutive months with or without a parent present;
(B) whether the child had frequent and regular contact or visitation with the petitioner for at least 12 consecutive months; and
(C) whether the grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent was a primary caretaker of the child for a period of not less than 6 consecutive months within the 24-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding.
(3) An order granting visitation privileges under this Section is subject to subsections (c) and (d) of Section 603.10.
(4) A petition for visitation privileges may not be filed pursuant to this subsection (c) by the parents or grandparents of a parent of the child if parentage between the child and the related parent has not been legally established.
The court also takes the following factors laid down in 750 ILCS 5/602.9 clause (b) sub-clause (5) which reads:
(5) In determining whether to grant visitation, the court shall consider the following:
(A) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to visitation;
(B) the mental and physical health of the child;
(C) the mental and physical health of the grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent;
(D) the length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, or step-parent;
(E) the good faith of the party in filing the petition;
(F) the good faith of the person denying visitation;
(G) the quantity of the visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation would have on the child's customary activities;
(H) any other fact that establishes that the loss of the relationship between the petitioner and the child is likely to unduly harm the child's mental, physical, or emotional health; and
(I) whether visitation can be structured in a way to minimize the child's exposure to conflicts between the adults.
Therefore, from the above provisions, it is reasonable to conclude that grandparents may be granted visitation rights by the court using its discretion and taking into account the factors enumerated in 750 ILCS 5/602.9 clause (b) sub-clause (5).