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Spotlighting grandparents' rights in Illinois

Happily for most grandparents in Illinois and elsewhere, their children with kids value the input of mom and dad on matters relevant to child-rearing and related issues. A large-scale national survey of young parents flatly indicates that grandparents are among "the most trusted sources" of parenting advice.

That is not always the case, though. In fact, family dislocation - owing to any number of factors, ranging from divorce and alleged abuse to drug/alcohol addiction and accusations of unfitness - can soil intergenerational relations and create conflict between grandparents and their children. In some instances, grandparents who once had liberal visitation rights or are currently seeking to spend time with their grandchildren can be shut out.

Is that lawful? Do grandparents have any legal recourse when they are denied the opportunity to render care, love and assistance to their grandkids?

There is no simple answer to determine how applicable laws will play out in a given case involving grandparents' attempts to secure and maintain a relationship with grandchildren.

For starters, and as noted in one in-depth overview of grandparents' rights in Illinois, no single federal standard applicable to all states has ever been established concerning visitation rights.

Moreover, laws on that subject vary from state to state. Illinois has a lengthy and detailed statutory scheme relevant to visitation, for example, which can produce highly varied outcomes from case to case.

Generally speaking, it merits noting that an Illinois judge has ample discretion while overseeing and ruling upon a request for visitation (and, in some cases, grandparents' custody of grandchildren). The above article stresses that a court will consider various factors "to determine whether grandparent visitation is appropriate and, if so, how much."

There is a lot of variability in that, of course, given the organic and unique nature of every family. Questions or concerns regarding grandparents' visitation/custody or any other child-linked matter can be directed to an experienced and results-focused Illinois family law attorney.

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