Family Law in Illinois
The experienced Illinois attorneys at Goldberg Law Group represent clients in a variety of family law matters, including Grandparent Visitation, Divorce, Post Decree, Child Support, Child Custody and Visitation
Michael K. Goldberg was instrumental in getting the Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act passed and has been a vigorous defender of grandparent visitation rights ever since. He has testified before the Illinois Senate and Illinois House of Representatives, argued grandparent visitation cases in all five Illinois Appellate Court Districts and the Illinois Supreme Court, and has written and spoken extensively on the subject of grandparent rights. But most importantly, he has helped hundreds of Illinois grandparents get visitation with their grandchildren in over 45 counties throughout the state.
When it comes to visitation rights, there are an abundance of laws that protect mothers and fathers. But what if you are a grandparent seeking custody, guardianship or visitation with a grandchild in Illinois? That’s when you turn to the powerful Illinois grandparent visitation rights attorneys at Goldberg Law Group. While Michael K. Goldberg and his skilled staff of attorneys are involved in all aspects of family law such as divorce, custody, visitation, support, and post-decree matters, we take a special interest in grandparent legal rights. By utilizing over 40 years of family law experience, we will protect your rights as a grandparent and provide you with the representation you need to achieve the best results.
What are grandparents' visitation rights?
In its simplest form, grandparent visitation is time spent with a grandchild without the presence of a parent. To petition for visitation rights in Illinois, grandparents must show that they have been unreasonably denied visitation by a parent of the grandchild and that one of the following applies:
A parent is incompetent;
A parent is dead or missing for three months;
A parent is incarcerated for at least three months before seeking visitation rights;
The child's parents are divorced, legally separated, or there is a pending dissolution or custody proceeding and at least one parent has no objection; or
The child is born out of wedlock and the parents are not living together.
Unless proven otherwise, Illinois law assumes that a parent’s decision regarding grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the child. So, if you want a chance at successfully filing a petition for visitation with your grandchildren, you need a dedicated legal team. You need the lawyers for grandparent visitation rights at Goldberg Law Group to ensure that your grandparent legal rights are upheld.
The Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act
In 2002, Michael K. Goldberg successfully represented the defendant in an important grandparent visitation case that was heard by the Illinois Supreme Court, which led to him assisting with the drafting of a new Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act. The case in question - Wickham v. Byrne - invalidated the former grandparent visitation statute.
The Illinois Supreme Court held that a court may not interfere with a parent’s fundamental right to the care, custody and control of his or her child unless the child’s health, safety or welfare would be adversely affected by a refusal of visitation. The Court ruled that the “best interest” standard was insufficient when determining visitation disputes between a parent and grandparent, since those disputes are less critical than visitation disputes between parents, and ruled that the former Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act, which used that test, was unconstitutional.
Thereafter, Mr. Goldberg worked with Illinois State Representative Patricia Lindner and Illinois Senator John Cullerton to draft the current Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act, which took effect in 2005. Mr. Goldberg also wrote the 2007 amendments.
Guidance For Grandparent Visitation Rights Legal Action In Illinois
If you are a grandparent interested in pursuing legal action to increase access to your grandchild through visitation rights - or obtain sole custody of a grandson or granddaughter - the grandparents rights attorneys at Goldberg Law Group in Chicago have the information and experience you need, which can help Illinois grandparents’ present their best case for visitation with their grandchildren.
The new Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act took effect in 2005, granting grandparents the statutory right to petition for court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. This law is more restrictive than the former Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act, which was declared unconstitutional on its face by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2002 in Wickham v. Byrne.
The new Act made it more difficult for grandparents to receive court-ordered visitation by creating a presumption in favor of a parent’s decision, enhancing the burden of proof on the grandparent and acknowledging a parent’s fundamental right to parent his or her child.
Also, it set forth specific factors that the Court should use to determine whether to grant a grandparents visitation request, including:
The preference of the child, if the child is old enough to state a preference;
The mental and physical health of the child;
The mental and physical health of the person seeking visitation;
The length and quality of the relationship between the child and the person seeking visitation;
The good faith of the parent and/or the party seeking visitation;
The quantity of visitation requested and the potential adverse impact on the family;
Whether the child resided with the petitioner for at least six consecutive months;
Whether the petitioner had frequent visitation with the child for at least 12 months; and
Any other factor that establishes that the loss of the relationship between the petitioner and the child is likely to harm the child's mental, physical or emotional health.
A grandparent or great-grandparent may petition for visitation with a child, as can an adult sibling of a child. A petition for visitation may be filed when a parent dies, is divorced or is incarcerated. The petitioner must first show that he or she is being denied visitation. Then it must be established that the petitioner has more than just a biological relationship with the child. There must be an effort to convince the judge that if visitation is discontinued, harm will come to the child's mental, emotional or physical health. This is done by demonstrating to the court that a strong relationship exists between the grandparent and child. An experienced attorney can advise on grandparents’ right for child custody. The lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grandparent Visitation
Here are some general answers to commonly asked questions. However, what follows is not legal advice, and a person interested in pursuing court-ordered visitation under the Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act should consult Goldberg Law Group’s lawyers for grandparents’ rights with any specific questions about his or her case.
If your marriage is ending and you need practical legal solutions for an uncontested dissolution of marriage or contested divorce in Illinois, the experienced Chicago family law attorneys at the Goldberg Law Group can help.
Mike K. Goldberg leads a team of lawyers who listen to your goals and provide sound guidance every step of the way through the divorce process. The Goldberg Law Group has offered vigorous representation in a broad range of practice areas for more than 40 years.
Our divorce practice features skilled assistance with collateral issues of child custody, visitation and support; equitable distribution of assets and property; and post-decree representation when a custody or support modification becomes necessary.
In addition to thoughtful recommendations based on extensive legal knowledge, and aggressive advocacy in court when a high-asset divorce must be litigated, the Goldberg Law Group prides itself on attentive personal service. Your questions are answered promptly and honestly. Your legal needs are top priority at our versatile divorce and family law firm.
Are differences over child custody or spousal support delaying your otherwise uncontested divorce? The ability to maintain a close relationship with a child or children is typically the potential point of contention in any divorce.
The attorneys at Goldberg Law Group advise individuals, couples and families to practical, lasting solutions. Firm wide, we are dedicated to smoothly transitioning you to a post-divorce routine with your child - and a brighter future.
Post Decree Matters
Many couples who think their divorce as “final” quickly find out that it is not.
Loss of a job, expensive medical treatment for a personal injury, or the need to relocate outside Illinois can trigger the request for a modification of custody or support arrangements.
When you need post-decree representation for a modification of custody or support, one law firm in Greater Chicago is solidly dedicated to addressing your issues - the Goldberg Law Group.
Michael K. Goldberg leads a divorce and post-divorce practice that has provided vigorous representation for a diverse clientele in Illinois for more than 40 years.
If your goal is to contest a petition for modification, or request an enforcement of divorce obligations that have gone unfulfilled, the Goldberg Law Group is honored to help.
Perhaps the specialized medical care you are seeking is available only in another state. It could be that you are out of a job and seeking employment in other states. A business transfer or military transfer could cause you to pursue a “move-away" for you and your child. For the sudden twists and turns that life can hand you, and to those who depend on you, you should contact the Goldberg Law Group. We have the legal knowledge, wise guidance, personal service and track record of success that proves we can be of service.
Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody and visitation issues are emotionally charged and confusing. Noncustodial parents often mistakenly believe that they do not to get to see their child. Parents have a constitutional right to see their children. For a noncustodial parent, visitation is a critical means of maintaining a loving relationship with their child. Illinois courts recognize a parent’s right to meaningful and liberal contact with their child that is in the best interests of their child.
While parenting time must be realistic, taking into account the parents’ work schedules and children’s school and extracurricular activities, it should not be unreasonably restricted or denied. Importantly, the right to visit your child should not be affected by your ability to pay child support. While it is always best for child custody and visitation issues to be negotiated and resolved between parents, sometimes that is not possible.
The attorneys at Goldberg Law Group have years of experience representing Illinois parents in custody and visitation disputes. We take time to counsel and advise parents about things to consider when setting visitation schedules for noncustodial parents. We provide patient but firm management that is designed to obtain a satisfactory outcome keeping the best interest of your child in mind.
Illinois law provides guidelines for calculating child support owed by noncustodial parents. The amount of child support is calculated using the net income of the noncustodial parent and the number of children for which he or she is responsible. These guidelines are applied unless the court determines that it would not be in the child’s best interest to do so. The court will look at a number of factors, including the financial resources and needs of the child and the custodial parent; the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents were together; the physical and emotional condition of the child; and the financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent.
Illinois’ child support calculations are complicated. The court’s determination of the amount of child support owed is only as good as the information provided to it by the parties and their attorneys. At the Goldberg Law Group, we help clients understand the income-based state calculations of child support, and the factors that courts examine when determining appropriate levels of child support.
For skilled legal assistance with child support calculations, custody arrangements, visitation schedules and any other aspect of child access or support matters, the Goldberg Law Group can help. Whether you need an attorney for divorce, child support lawyers or grandparents custody representation, contact Michael K. Goldberg at 312-930-5600 to to schedule your free initial consultation.
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Practice Areas in Illinois
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