While child custody disputes typically occur between the parents of a child, some circumstances exist in which a third party non-parent, such as a grandparent or aunt or uncle, may seek custody. The child’s parent(s) inability to care for the child may prompt such family members to seek custody of the child. In addition, such family members may seek custody of the child if the child’s parent(s) demonstrates that he or she is unfit to parent. Sometimes, these third party non-parents only want visitation time with the child, but the parents of the child do not wish to oblige the third party non-parent. Such a situation may exist when a couple divorces and one of the child’s parents refuses to allow the child’s relatives to see the child. For example, a mother may attempt to keep her child away from the father and the father’s family.
The professionals at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group assist 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 handle many types of family, custody and visitation issues.
Under Illinois law, the court prefers for a child remain in the custody of one or both of the child’s parents. However, situations exist in which the court may consider a parent unfit to care for the child pursuant to 750 ILCS 50, in which case, the court may regard awarding third party non-parent custody as in the best interests of the child. If the child is removed from the custody of his or her parents, the parents of the child voluntarily relinquish his or her parental rights to the child, or if the parent physically or psychologically abuses or neglects the child, or if the child’s parents are deceased or incapacitated, then the court may find third party non-parent custody to be the best choice for the child.
When child custody lies with a fit parent, third party non-parents may not successfully seek custody of the child. However, such third party non-parents can seek visitation with the child, even if the child’s parent or parents denied visitation requests made by the third party non-parent. The court gives preference to the parents’ wishes concerning visitation with the child. However, circumstances might exist to warrant a third party non-parent seeking visitation rights from the court. Third party non-parents with a deep and meaningful relationship with the child, and a history of visitation, have a better chance of obtaining visitation privileges from the court.
Child custody and visitation are often highly emotional issues, and as such, people feel strongly about these issues. Disputes over third party non-parent custody and visitation can prove to be difficult. The professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group can help you with your third party non-parent custody or visitation issues. Call us at (312) 445-8830 or click here to schedule a consultation.
There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.
“When I needed a family lawyer, I trusted the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group and you can too.” Dr. Debra Thomas – Orthopedic Surgeon – 1988 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist”
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