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Wheaton grandparent visitation lawyerIf you are a grandparent, you know just how special the relationship with your grandchildren can be. However, when a grandparent’s relationship with their adult child is complicated, they may worry about how this will affect their relationship with their grandchild. Illinois law recognizes the positive impact many grandparents have on their grandchildren’s lives. Because of this, there are certain situations in which grandparents may be granted legal visitation with their grandchild.  

Illinois Law Regarding Grandparent Visitation

Grandparents often question what their rights are when it comes to seeing their grandchild. Typically, parents have the right to restrict a non-parent’s access to their child. There is a presumption that a child’s parents are “fit” or capable of making sound decisions about their child - including decisions about who the child spends time with. However, a grandparent may petition the court to request mandatory visitation with their grandchild under certain circumstances.

The court may grant you visitation with your grandchild if you can demonstrate that:

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Although the divorce rate has fallen over the last several years, there are still many families that separate each year. When a child is at the center of that family, parents often worry if the divorce will negatively impact the mental and emotional health of their child. Countless studies suggest this could be the case, including a recent one that was supported by the National Institute for Mental Health, but there may be less to worry about than the experts let on - especially if parents know how to mitigate against the possible risks.

Examining the Possible Impact of Divorce

Society often thinks of children as "resilient" and capable of overcoming the obstacles they face early in life. On one hand, there is some truth to that. On the other hand, there is a real risk of emotional trauma. For example, children who experience parental alienation may experience long-term complications, such as disdain for the alienated parent. Alternatively, the child may have a sense that there is something wrong with them because they still love the alienated parent, despite all the "horrible" things they have allegedly done. As a result, the child may be prone to depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.

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In every family law case involving children, the judge is required to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. The phrase "best interests of the child" can seem vague and difficult to understand. However, when judges are evaluating parenting time and allocation of parental rights options, there are many factors that are always considered.

Factors Judges Consider

The law requires judges examine all the relevant factors when deciding what is in a child's best interest. This gives judges the power to consider almost anything related to the child. Major factors that judges consider when deciding what is in the best interest of the child include:

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