There are also circumstances in which a non-parent (such as a grandparent, great-grandparent, adult sibling, aunt, uncle or other relative) has established a close and meaningful relationship with the child. If it is in the best interests of the child, custody can be sought by such non-parental parties. Also, in Illinois visitation is possible through the relatively new Grandparent Visitation Act. Under this new law, grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings (meaning brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister of a minor child) have standing in court to seek visitation rights.
However, these laws are restrictive, and it always comes down to what is in the best interests of the child, including the child’s health and general welfare. This is a difficult standard, and it is not easy against the rights of either parent.
Fortunately, the skilled DuPage County non-parent custody lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand how to petition the court and use the law and the court system to assert and secure your custody or visitation rights. To discuss the specifics of your non-parent custody case, schedule a free initial consultation with us today.
“Standing” refers to a party’s validity in even making a claim in court. If you do not have standing, you cannot even make a claim for non-parent custody. Sometimes referred to as a “third party,” the non-parent party seeking custody can only have standing if the child is not in physical custody of the parents. This shows just how strong the preference and weight of parent’s rights are to that of non-parents. This does not necessarily mean that your case does not have merit. What it does mean is that it can be a very difficult case, and you will need the knowledge and experience of our family law attorneys to help you through this.
For a free initial consultation with Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., call 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882, or contact us online.