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DuPage County family law attorney for grandparent visitationGrandparents can be some of the most important figures in a child’s life. If a child’s parents get divorced, grandparents may worry whether they will get to see their grandchildren as often. Divorcing parents have the right to reasonable amounts of parenting time, sometimes referred to as visitation, with their child. However, parents can lose this right if they are not fit to care for their child properly. In Illinois, grandparents will not always have the right to visitation with their grandchildren, although they may be able to petition for visitation if there are special circumstances. 

When Can Grandparents Be Granted Visitation?

If you are a grandparent, and you want to ensure that you will be allowed to spend time with your grandchild, you may wonder if the court can require a parent to allow their child to spend time with you. Illinois courts may grant visitation to grandparents if one or more of the following circumstances are present:

  • The parents are divorced, and at least one parent agrees to grandparent visitation

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Wheaton divorce attorney for parenting time violationsParents who get divorced in Illinois will need to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement as part of their divorce settlement. If parents cannot agree on a plan, the court will make decisions about child custody and issue a parenting plan. In either case, a parenting plan will specify how major decisions about the child will be handled and when each parent will enjoy visitation, technically called “parenting time,” with their child. Understandably, many parents struggle to make the adjustment from spending every day with their child to sharing parenting time with their ex-spouse. However, if a parent purposefully violates the parenting agreement or withholds parenting time from the other parent, he or she can face serious consequences.

Penalties for Violating Your Illinois Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is an official court order, and both parents are required by law to follow the directions contained in the plan. Refusing to allow the other parent his or her allotted parenting time can result in civil and criminal consequences, including but not limited to:

  • A $500 fine

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How Do You Establish Paternity in Illinois?

paternityPaternity is not always a straightforward process. If someone is found to be the father of a child they will have the duty to pay child support, and will probably have the right to have regular parenting time with the child. Whatever side of the case you are on, you need to understand what happens in paternity cases.

How Paternity Can Be Established

Usually being a father is a matter of biology. But, sometimes who the father of a child is not clear. Under Illinois law you are considered the legal father of a child if:

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Divorce can be challenging and emotional for everyone involved - including grandparents. When parents divorce, courts are required to approve arrangements regarding custody and visitation, including decision-making power and the time that each parent gets to spend with the children. However, parents and children are not the only ones whose families are changing. Often grandparents struggle to understand their new role after a divorce and, in some circumstances, grandparents may be restricted or prevented from seeing their grandchildren. One option for grandparents who are prevented from having a relationship with their grandchildren is to seek visitation.

Non-Parent Visitation

Illinois law provides visitation for certain "non-parents" including grandparents. Those who want visitation can file a petition with the court requesting visitation.

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Custody and Visitation Across State Lines

custody and removal in Illinois, DuPage County custody lawyerGoing through a divorce and dealing with custody and visitation can be challenging. Parents are navigating a new family dynamic, which includes learning to co-parent with their former spouse and learning to adapt to splitting time with their children. Those challenges become even more complex when a parent and child relocate to a different state.

Custody Determinations and Modification

When custody determinations are being made after a parent has already relocated-for the first time or during a modification of existing arrangements-jurisdiction is generally determined by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA has been adopted by 49 states (including Illinois) and the District of Columbia, and is intended to standardize the way that states make and modify custody and visitation orders in order to reduce interstate conflict.

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