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Grandparent Visitation and Gray Divorce in Illinois 

 Posted on October 04, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL grandparent visitation lawyerIf you are over age 50 and getting divorced, this will inevitably change your family dynamics. While some divorce cases are more contentious than others, few are completely devoid of any family drama. Sadly, it is sometimes the youngest family members that get caught up in this drama.

Grandparents getting divorced in Illinois should be aware of their rights with regard to seeing their grandchildren - especially if the grandchild's parents are less than cooperative. 

When Grandchildren Get Caught in the Middle of Divorce-Related Bitterness

Consider the following scenario: After many years in an unfulfilling marriage, a woman in her 60s decides to divorce her husband. The woman's adult son is infuriated with her for "breaking up the family." He decides to prevent his own children, her grandchildren, from visiting her. Before the divorce, the grandmother and her grandchildren were close, and they are all devastated by this turn of events. 

Situations like this are not uncommon. Fortunately, Illinois law allows grandparents to get court-ordered visitation with grandchildren under certain circumstances.  

Court-Ordered Visitation with Grandchildren 

Usually, custody and visitation are issues involving parents, not grandparents. However, Illinois courts sometimes award grandparents visitation rights. A grandparent may seek grandparent visitation if he or she can prove that the parent's denial of visitation is harming the child and at least one of the following is true: 

  • The child's parents are legally separated or divorced, and at least one parent agrees to grandparent visitation

  • The child's parents are unmarried and not living together 

  • One of the child's parents is deceased, missing, or deemed legally incompetent 

Illinois Courts Act in the Child's Best Interests 

Illinois courts make child-related determinations based on what is in the child's best interests. Grandparents have the burden of proving why grandparent visitation is in the child's best interests. When deciding whether to grant court-ordered visitation with a grandparent, the court will consider: 

  • The child's wishes, if the child is old enough to express a preference 

  • The amount of time the grandparent previously spent with the child 

  • The reasons the child's parent is denying visitation 

  • The grandparent's health

  • Whether the grandchild ever lived with the grandparent 

  • Previous grandparent visitation schedules 

  • Whether the loss of the grandparent relationship would negatively affect the child's wellbeing 

Contact our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys 

The DuPage County gray divorce lawyers at Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group know that older couples often face unique challenges during divorce. We provide dependable legal support and guidance in a range of divorce and family law matters. Call 630-634-5050 for a free consultation to learn more. 



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