The holiday season is a time for family. For grandparents, it is often one of the primary occasions they get to spend time with their grandchildren. This raises an important question: Do Illinois grandparents have any right to holiday visitation? As with most issues in family law, the answer is “it depends.”
Illinois recognizes that parents have a fundamental right to control how their children are raised, including determining who they visit and how they spend their time. In certain circumstances, grandparents may be able to establish legal visitation rights. Here, our Illinois child custody lawyers explain the most important things you need to know about grandparents’ rights and holiday visits.
Illinois Law: Grandparent Visitation Rights
There is no specialized right to receive a visit from your grandchildren during the holidays. Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/602.9), grandparents and other close relatives have a limited right to establish court-ordered visitation. When certain circumstances are met, a grandparent can actively petition the court to obtain electronic communication or in-person visitation with their grandparents. When granted, grandparent visitation rights could potentially involve at least some mandatory visitation time during the holiday seasons.
To be clear, grandparents are not automatically able to obtain court-ordered visitation rights in the state of Illinois. If both child’s parents are still together and the child is not in danger, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a grandparent to obtain visitation rights over the objections of the parents. Generally, grandparents can only establish visitation rights if a parent is deceased, incompetent, incarcerated, or if the parents are separated. If you are a grandparent looking to get visitation rights in Illinois, you need a lawyer.
Grandparents’ Rights and Holiday Visits: Finding a Collaborative Solution
With grandparent visitation cases, it is generally best to take a collaborative approach to the process. Ultimately, the most important thing is the health, safety, and well-being of the child. Further, Illinois courts will always prioritize what is best for the children. If you can find a collaborative solution that works for your family, it will generally be easier to get time with your grandchildren.
Our Illinois grandparents’ rights attorneys work to help our clients find effective, low-conflict solutions whenever it is possible. Of course, collaborative solutions do not work in every case. We are ready to take aggressive action to protect your rights. If you are being denied time with your grandchild — especially if the parent denying you access to your grandchildren is not your so or daughter — you should reach out to a lawyer right away. An experienced family law attorney will be able to help you explore every option for establishing holiday visitation and visitation rights in general.
Call Our Illinois Grandparent Rights Attorney Right Away
At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois child custody & visitation lawyers represent clients in grandparent rights cases. If you have questions or concerns about grandparent rights and holiday visits, we are here to help. To request a free, confidential family law consultation, contact our law firm now. With law offices in Naperville, Aurora and Bolingbrook, we serve communities throughout the region.