With regard to family law, there are many different legal matters that families have to deal with. From child custody and child support to alimony and adoption, properly handling all types of family law issues is of the utmost importance. However, grandparents who are unable to spend time with their grandchildren may experience particularly devastating emotional pain. In Belleville, Illinois, and across the nation, far too many grandparents are going through this personally and it is vital for them to understand their rights.
According to the Illinois General Assembly’s website, there are a number of circumstances in which grandparents can file a visitation rights petition for minor children (if a parent unreasonably denies visitation). For example, if a parent has been missing for a minimum of three months or they are deceased or incompetent, grandparents may file a visitation petition. Additionally, if a parent has been imprisoned for three months before the filing of a petition, the child’s parents are divorced or the child was born when the parents were not married, grandparents may move forward and pursue visitation rights.
In some cases, grandparents may even have custodial rights. On their website, the Illinois Department on Aging reports that an increasing number of grandchildren are being raised by their grandparents. In fact, a 2010 survey revealed that 5.7 million minor children throughout the country were living in households that were headed by their grandparents. Furthermore, the survey found that more than 211,000 minor children were living in households headed by their grandparents in Illinois.