Grandparent Visitation in Illinois

Illinois has a grandparent visitation statute that should meet the constitutional challenge. That’s because it has a much stricter test for grandparent visitation than its predecessor.

The new law took effect January 1, and it requires that grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings can be granted visitation only if they show an “unreasonable denial of visitation” by one of the child’s parents and that this is “harmful to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health.”

The statute makes a rebuttable presumption that a fit parent’s actions and decisions are not harmful, so it clearly imposes on the grandparent the burden of proving harm. And it removes all hope for ordering visitation if both parents oppose it.

The statute appears at § 750 ILCS 5/607.