While child custody disputes are typically between the parents of a child, there are some circumstances where a third party non-parent, such as a grandparent or aunt or uncle, may be concerned about a child and may seek custody. The child’s parent(s) might be dead or incapacitated and unable to care for the child. Or the parents might not be fit to provide for the child. Sometimes, these third party non-parents only want to have visitation time with the child, but the parents of the child do not wish to oblige the third party non-parent. This is common when a couple gets divorced, but the child’s relatives want to see the child and one of the child’s parents is being unreasonable about visitation. For example, a mother might want to keep her child away from the father and the father’s family, for whatever reason.
The professionals at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group have assisted a number of individuals with preventing and facilitating third party non-parent custody and visitation, and we can help you too. Our family law attorneys have handled all kinds of family, custody and visitation issues, and there is little that we have not assisted clients with when it comes to these sensitive and often emotional issues.
Under Illinois law, it is preferred that a child remain in the custody of one or both of the child’s parents. But there are some situations where a parent might be unfit to care for the child, under 750 ILCS 50, in which case, awarding third party non-parent custody might be in the best interests of the child. If the child has been removed from the custody of his or her parents, has voluntarily relinquished his or her parental rights to the child, or if the parent is physically or psychologically abusing or neglecting the child, or if the child’s parents are deceased or incapacitated, then the court might see that third party non-parent custody is the best choice for the child.
When child custody lies with a fit parent, third party non-parents might not be able to seek custody of the child, but they can seek visitation with the child, even if the child’s parent or parents have denied visitation requests made by the third party non-parent. Preference is given to the parents’ wishes concerning visitation with the child, but circumstances might exist to warrant seeking visitation rights from the court. Third party non-parents who have a deep and meaningful relationship with the child, and a history of visitation, stand a better chance of obtaining visitation privileges from the court.
Child custody and visitation are often highly emotional issues, and people feel very strongly about these issues. Disputes over third party non-parent custody and visitation can be hard fought. The professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group can help you with your third party non-parent custody or visitation issues. You can reach us by calling 312-445-8830 or click here to get in touch with us.
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