Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

What Can I Do If My Adult Child Will Not Let Me See My Grandchild?

 Posted on December 20, 2022 in Family Law

Sugar Grove family law attorneyFor many grandparents, having grandchildren is one of the great joys of life. The relationship a grandchild has with his grandmother and grandfather is very special. When something threatens that relationship, grandparents need to understand their rights.

In most situations, only parents have the legal right to spend time with their children. However, there are circumstances in which a grandparent may be able to petition the court for visitation rights.  

Illinois Law Regarding Grandparent Visitation

Illinois courts recognize that many grandparents play critical roles in the lives of their grandchildren. The sudden loss of the grandparent-grandchild relationship can be devastating to the child. The court will enter an order for grandparent visitation that gives the grandparent access to his or her grandchild if certain conditions are met, and grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests.

To qualify for grandparent visitation, at least one of the following must be true:

  • The child’s parents are unmarried and do not live together.
  • The child’s parents are divorced and one or both of the parents agrees to grandparent visitation.
  • One of the child’s parents is deceased or has been missing for three or more months.
  • One of the child’s parents has been in jail or prison for at least three months.
  • One of the child’s parents has been deemed incompetent.

Meeting one or more of the conditions listed above does not necessarily mean that the court will issue an order for grandparent visitation – especially if a parent objects to grandparent visitation. However, this is the minimum requirement for the court to consider grandparent visitation.

Grandparent Visitation When a Parent Objects

Sometimes, a parent refuses to let the grandparent see the child and objects to grandparent visitation. If this is the case, the court will listen to arguments and evidence from both sides and make a decision that is in the child’s best interests.

The court will consider factors such as:

  • The grandparent’s past involvement in the child’s life
  • The reason the parent objects to grandparent visitation
  • The grandparent’s health
  • The child’s health
  • The child’s wishes

Guardianship or Custody of a Grandchild

Sometimes, grandparents need to take a much greater role in their grandchild’s life. For example, if a single parent is incarcerated or cannot care for their child due to drug addiction, the grandparent may need to step up and take on the parenting role. In cases like these, the grandparent may be able to seek guardianship of the child or even custody of the child. However, this is a complex legal process, so working with an experienced family law attorney is crucial.




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