The custody of children is one of the most painful parts of any divorce, and though laws are aimed at making things easier and clearer, there is still a lot to know about the issue. Nowhere is this truer than with grandparents. There is an immense list of factors that determine whether grandparents can even visit or see their grandchildren. For families in Illinois, one of the first factors is parenting time. If you are a grandparent and confused by parenting time in Chicago, and its impact on your relationship with a grandchild, you may want to get in touch with an attorney.
Understanding Parenting Time
In the past, parenting time was referred to as visitation. Today, though, it is viewed as the time that any non-custodial parent spends with their children. State courts decide the amount of parenting time, and all other factors associated with it, and typically it is based on the best interests of the children involved. Unfortunately, the laws around parenting time in Chicago do not make any particular or special guarantees to grandparents. In other words, grandparents do not have legal rights to parenting time with their grandkids. The law says that it is up to the parents to decide based on the child’s wellbeing.
Asking for Parenting Time
You can, however, request the courts grant you parenting time or visitation with grandkids. This is a process that begins with a petition to the court as a rebuttal to the parental refusal to give you access to the children involved. However, be aware that the Illinois courts are going to hear the petition only if the situation causes physical, emotional or mental harm to the child.
What Affects the Issue
This is actually not as challenging a hurtle as it might seem. A parent’s decision to refuse you access may actually be harmful to kids if their other parent is deceased, if one of the parents is deemed incompetent or has been in jail for more than 90 days. Parents going through a divorce may be causing harm to a child by refusing parenting time with grandparents, and so that too might play a role in your getting time with the kids.
Find a Family Lawyer
A family lawyer is an ideal resource if you are a grandparent eager to have parenting time with the children. The courts look at the wishes of children and their overall well-being in making the decision. That means, with legal help, you face good chances at gaining legal access to your grandchildren and helping them through challenging times. Find out more about this complex matter by phoning our office at (312) 621-5234.