Illinois Grandparents Visitation Law


Divorce – Grandparents Visitation – Illinois

Sec. 607. Visitation.
A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health. If the custodian’s street address is not identified, pursuant to Section 708, the court shall require the parties to identify reasonable alternative arrangements for visitation by a non-custodial parent, including but not limited to visitation of the minor child at the residence of another person or at a local public or private facility.

The court may grant reasonable visitation privileges to a grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling of any minor child upon petition to the court by the grandparents or great-grandparents or on behalf of the sibling, with notice to the parties required to be notified under Section 601 of this Act, if the court determines that it is in the best interests and welfare of the child, and may issue any necessary orders to enforce such visitation privileges. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection (b), a petition for visitation privileges may be filed under this paragraph (1) whether or not a petition pursuant to this Act has been previously filed or is currently pending if one or more of the following circumstances exist:

the parents are not currently cohabiting on a permanent or an indefinite basis;

one of the parents has been absent from the marital abode for more than one month without the spouse knowing his or her whereabouts;

one of the parents is deceased;

one of the parents joins in the petition with the grandparents, great-grandparents, or sibling; or

a sibling is in State custody.

(1.5) The Court may grant reasonable visitation privileges to a stepparent upon petition to the court by the stepparent, with notice to the parties required to be notified under Section 601 of this Act, if the court determines that it is in the best interests and welfare of the child, and may issue any necessary orders to enforce those visitation privileges. A petition for visitation privileges may be filed under this paragraph (1.5) whether or not a petition pursuant to this Act has been previously filed or is currently pending if the following circumstances are met:

the child is at least 12 years old;

the child resided continuously with the parent and stepparent for at least 5 years;

the parent is deceased or is disabled and is unable to care for the child;

the child wishes to have reasonable visitation with the stepparent; and (E) the stepparent was providing for the care, control, and welfare to the child prior to the initiation of the petition for visitation.

A petition for visitation privileges shall not be filed pursuant to this subsection (b) by the parents or grandparents of a putative father if the paternity of the putative father has not been legally established.

A petition for visitation privileges may not be filed under this subsection (b) if the child who is the subject of the grandparents’or great-grandparents’ petition has been voluntarily surrendered by the parent or parents, except for a surrender to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or a foster care facility, or has been previously adopted by an individual or individuals who are not related to the biological parents of the child or is the subject of a pending adoption petition by an individual or individuals who are not related to the biological parents of the child.

When one parent is deceased, the surviving parent shall not interfere with the visitation rights of the grandparents.

The court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights of a parent whenever modification would serve the best interest of the child; but the court shall not restrict a parent’s visitation rights unless it finds that the visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health. The court may modify an order granting, denying, or limiting visitation rights of a grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling of any minor child whenever a change of circumstances has occurred based on facts occurring subsequent to the judgment and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the modification is in the best interest of the minor child.

If any court has entered an order prohibiting a non-custodial parent of a child from any contact with a child or restricting the non-custodial parent’s contact with the child, the following provisions shall apply:

If an order has been entered granting visitation privileges with the child to a grandparent or great-grandparent who is related to the child through the non-custodial parent, the visitation privileges of the grandparent or great-grandparent may be revoked if:

a court has entered an order prohibiting the non custodial parent from any contact with the child, and the grandparent or great-grandparent is found to have used his or her visitation privileges to facilitate contact between the child and the non-custodial parent; or

a court has entered an order restricting the non-custodial parent’s contact with the child, and the grandparent or great-grandparent is found to have used his or her visitation privileges to facilitate contact between the child and the non-custodial parent in a manner that violates the terms of the order restricting the non-custodial parent’s contact with the child. Nothing in this subdivision (1) limits the authority of the court to enforce its orders in any manner permitted by law.

Any order granting visitation privileges with the child to a grandparent or great-grandparent who is related to the child through the non-custodial parent shall contain the following provision:

“If the (grandparent or great-grandparent, whichever is applicable) who has been granted visitation privileges under this order uses the visitation privileges to facilitate contact between the child and the child’s non-custodial parent, the visitation privileges granted under this order shall be permanently revoked.”

No parent, not granted custody of the child, or grandparent, or great-grandparent, or stepparent, or sibling of any minor child, convicted of any offense involving an illegal sex act perpetrated upon a victim less than 18 years of age including but not limited to offenses for violations of Article 12 of the Criminal Code of 1961, is entitled to visitation rights while incarcerated or while on parole, probation, conditional discharge, periodic imprisonment, or andatory supervised release for that offense, and upon discharge from incarceration for a misdemeanor offense or upon discharge from parole, probation, conditional discharge, periodic imprisonment, or mandatory supervised release for a felony offense, visitation shall be denied until the person successfully completes a treatment program approved by the court.

Unless the court determines, after considering all relevant factors, including but not limited to those set forth in ection 602(a), that it would be in the best interests of the child to allow visitation, the court shall not enter an order providing visitation rights and pursuant to a motion to modify visitation shall revoke visitation rights previously granted to any person who would otherwise be entitled to petition for visitation rights under this Section who has been convicted of first degree murder of the parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling of the child who is the subject of the order. Until an order is entered pursuant to this subsection, no person shall visit, with the child present, a person who has been convicted of first degree murder of the parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling of the child without the consent of the child’s parent, other than a parent convicted of first degree murder as set forth herein, or legal guardian.

If an order has been entered limiting, for cause, a minor child’s contact or visitation with a grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling on the grounds that it was in the best interest of the child to do so, that order may be modified only upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances occurring subsequent to the entry of the order with proof by clear and convincing evidence that modification is in the best interest of the minor child.
(Source: P.A. 90-782, eff. 8-14-98; 90-801, eff. 6-1-99; 91-357, eff. 7-29-99; 91-610, eff. 8-19-99.)